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3 1833 01715 9333 


v; II 



J. V. B RO w R. 

Author of Voi.umk VIL, Minnesota Hi.stokral 
CoLLKfTioNS, 1803, Etc. 




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A v<^' C I earn ate r Co.,Minncsota . 





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B1 3. V. BROWER. 




From the report of the Commissioner of Itasca State Park, 
made on the first day of last December, it appears that the 
state has acquired the ownership and control of 10,879 acres 
within the limits of the park, and that there are still within 
these limits 8,823 acres, owned by private parties and scattered 
in tracts of various sizes among the state lands, that ought to 
be acquired by the state. These lands are covered with a valuable 
; forest of pine, spruce, hr, cedar, ash and oak, and the owners 

I arc likely at an early day to cut and market this timber. When 

1 these lands have been stripped of their timber they arc the easy 

prey of forest /ires, and a fire breaking out upon them will 
inevitably spread to the other lands of the park, and thus the 
whole area will become a burnt, black and desert waste, and 
will cease to afford any safeguard or protection to the source 
. of our mighty river. 

The legislature of 1891 acted wisely and with rare good 
judgment when it establisltcd this park. Itasca Lake and its 
preservation is sacred and dear to every American heart. The 
lake and all its beautiful environment should, as far as possible, 
be kept intact in its primitive and normal condition ; and in 
order to accomplish this, the lands in private ownership should, 
. as speedily as possible, be acquired by the state. These lands 
can be obtained neither by purchase nor by condemnation pro- 
ceedings until the necessary funds are provided for that purpose. 
The work planned by the legislature of 1891 should be consum- 
mated and completed by the legislature of 1895. I commend 
this subject to your favorable consideration, and recommend 
that you appropriate sufficient funds to accjuire these lands by 
purchase or condemnation. 


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Veritas 'Caput. 

BOUTWKLI., lx:V2. 





The Council of the ^Iixnesota Histohical Society. 

Gentlemen: In .laiiuary, 1803, Volume VII., Minnesota His- 
torical Collections, treating" exhaustively of the di.scovery of Itasca 
Basin and its earlier history as an established state park, was 
delivered to this society and published. 

Since that date many important changes have taken place at 
Itasca Lake, additional surveys have been completed, two addi- 
tions extending the boundary of Itasca State Park have been 
confirmed and adopted, new names have been added to its nomen- 
clature, needed changes in highways have occurred, state buildings 
have been erected, and various interests of the state have received 
consideration which has greatly influenced official action relating 
to the destiny of the park, and its stability. 

An arclueologic discovery of much interest and some import- 
ance was made at Itasca Lake in 1804, and numerous objects of 
moulded clay, grooved implements and chipped flints were carefully 
collected and preserved for the museum of this society, constituting 
the only considerable accumulation of such objects from the Source 
of tlie ^[ississippi extant. 

The legislature of the state, prompted by the indefatigable 
labors of influential and public spirited mend)ers, has from time 
to time provided large appropriations for the perfection, welfare 
and advancement of the park and the comfort and accommoda- 
tion of its patrons. 

Those appropriations have been quite largely and variously 

A new state building has been ordered to be constructed at a 
l>eautifully forested area of the park at Mary Creek, near the 
iioutheastern extremity of Itasca Lake, for the accommodation of 

the park coniiiiissioner and visiting- tourists, pursuant to tlif' tei-nis 
of an enactment passed by the lr'<:.'islature in IDO.'i. 

The United States by its Mississippi Kiv(M- rouiniission have 
caused to be expended in an exhjuistive trigonouH't ri( ;il survey of 
Itasca Basin, in 1000, many .thousands of doUars. The official 
chart of that survey indicates a distint confirmation of toj>oo raphic 
and hydrographic conditions reported to this society in isoo, as 
charted in 1892, notwithstanding- the fact that no credit wliatever 
for the promiscuous and extensive use of the records and field 
notes provided by this society has in any manner been acknowl- 
edged b}' the authorities of that commission. The field parties of 
the Mississippi Kiver ( 'ommission while conducting their surveys at 
Itasca State Park were in constant use of specially mounted park 
charts of this society, by which they were guided through tlie 
labyrinths of densely forested areas approximately identical in 
details on the charts of the two separate surveys of 1880 
and 1900. 

Greath' to the regret of many of our citizens who have been 
deeply interested in the permanent preservation of Itasca State 
Park in its natural condition and primitive beauty, Formative 
and Perfective periods in its history, have been recently superceded 
by a Critical l^eriod, very distressing in results, caused by an 
advance across the area of the state park by destructive lumber- 
men, precipitating against state property extensive damages which 
will require many years to repair and overcome. Logging roa<ls 
have been constructed across state park lands, log landings have 
been established along the shores of Itasca I^ake, a dam near the 
outlet of that historic and reserved body of i)ublie water now dis- 
astrously floods all its environs, creating a lumberman's booming 
reservoir for the private business of individuals against the estab- 
lished rights of the state and its people, beginning in December, 
1901, and continuing to the present time. While the damage by 
backwater floods over the entire area of Itasca and VAk lakes is 
slowly and surely ci*eating an extensive shore -lint^ destruction of 


j»;irk trees, ever<i"reen.s and forests in the selfisli interest of persons 
s»H'Uin^' individual ^ain. the pnl)ne officials wliosp <lnty it is hy law 
to prosecute offenders ag'ainst the peace and dignity of the state 
aie inactive and ac(]niescent. 

As the original commissioner of this society which first movnd 
for the creation of a public park in ISSI), 1 assume the res}>onsi- 
liility of recording- the facts as I understand them for the purpose 
of perpetuating- the continued history of Itasca State Tai-k iov 
this society. 

Councilor J. B. Chaney has twice visited Itasca Lake and the 
park, contributhig otherwise to the preparations necessary for 
the present publication. 

Mr. Edwin C. Crampton, a life member of this society, made 
a tour of the state park and a canoe and camping- adventure 
down the Mississippi to Whinebagoshish Lake in 1902, when he 
secured a valuable series of views along the wlujle course of his 
conthiuous voyage, which contains many exact representations 
of scenes at the park, Kakabikans Rapids and elsewhere. So 
very many of those admirable art productions have been solicited 
for illustrations and freely contributed to the pages of this volume 
that onh' this general acknowledgment for Mi*. Crampton's con- 
tribution to history was convenient. 

I wish to acknowledge the uniform kindness extended toward 
me by Cxovernor Van Sant and the officials of his administration 
while compiling official documents, many of which are now first 
published, although it has been very distressing to record and 
per[)etuate the course of events which so seriously threaten the 
stability and value of Itasca State Park. 

Very respectfully, 

St. Paul, Minn., May 9, 1904. J.V. HROWEIl. 



Commissioner f)f Itasca stat»' Park, ls!>l-ls!r>. 
(By Ro(iuest.) 


To GoviOHXOit Sa.mi kl U. Van Sant, I-^x- ATroiLVKV (inxHiJAL 


(Jkxtli:mi:x : On the first dny of Jiuiuaiy, IDOl, nt the Ix'niii- 
niii^' of Governor Van Snnt's administration of state affairs, 
Itasea State Park was in an adniirablt^ condition of perfect 
preservation. Its every environni(Mit was in a st.ite of natnre 
with rich htbyrinths of evergreen shades, dense forests, wo(j<le(l 
ravines, cone-covered hills, mossed lowhuuis, ])ine grov(-s, tir. 
cedar and birch thickets, all borderin;;' nearly a lmndi-e(l ulirterin^i- 
and ti'listening ])ictnresqne lakes in a health -<:ivinLi- basin wlirre 
distinctly bnbbling sprinus oive birth to the (ireat Father of 
Waters at the Sonrce of the Mississippi — an emblem and promise 
of continuity in the sacred i)i-eservation to the whole body of 
a vast and rapidly increasing nation of intelligent pe()])le. the 
shores and the waters of Itasca Lake and its descending outlet 
as a lawfully established and legally protected public resort. 

The history of Itasca Lake and its permanent preservation, 
in the words of Senator Knute Xelson, are "sacred and dear to 
every American heart." 

The Great State of .Minnesota by the unanimotis vote of its 
legislature, and the approval of its executive on the 19th day 
of April, 1898, accepted a trust from the United States of America, 
to protect and preserve the granted park privileges of the forested 
area of Itasca Basin, therein . directing that — "All persons, com- 
panies and corporations are, by this act, pi-ohibited from cutting, 
destroying, nnitilating or injuring any timber, tree, or evergreen 
standing or growing upon any of the lands within the limits of 
Itasca State Park, granted to the State of Minnesota by the 
Congress of the United States. 

That mutual compact for the benefit of enlightened humanity 
carried with its agreements a solemnly a(lo})ted and subsecpiently 
accepted proviso— "That the land hereby granted shall revert 
to the United States, together with all improvements thereon, if 
at any time it shall cense to he cxchisivelv used for n public 
"^tntc park, or if the state shall not pass a law or laws to protect 
the timber thereon." The italics ai'e intinisive but most con- 
vincing and suggestive. 

The jHMialties of ;i ci-iininal statute', operative and of force, 
provide lieavv fines and iniprisonnient for offenses aiiainst the 
leg'ally established eonij)a('t Ix'twecn tlie Tnitcvl States and the 
State of Minnesota, whereby all the j)nl)lir lands at Itasca State 
Park were dedicated exclusively for public use. 

By the happeninii' of untoward and distressin*:,' events dnrinji' 
the eontinnanee of the ,iiul)ernat()rial administration for Minne- 
sota from January 1. 1001, to January 1. 11)0."), the stability of 
Itasca State Park has been variouslx- and almost irie[)arably 
damaged, demoralized and grievously impaired by lumlnn-ing 
operations, distinctly provided against by large api)r()priations 
from the state treasury, and by a criminal code, mandatory in 
its character and terms, prohibiting the destiniction of timber 
and trees along the shores of Itasca, Klk, and other lakes and 
their tributary creeks. Notwithstanding those precautious Itasca 
and Elk lakes were flooded by a lumberman's logging dam 
immediately below the outlet of Itasca Lake, first constructed 
in 1902, permanently established with gates and chutes in 11)08. 
and raised and nearly doubled in its capacity in 11)04 on lands 
now legally dedicated as park property exclusively for the use 
of the state. Log booms and log landings covering large surface 
areas of Itasca Lake and its approachable shores have greatly 
damaged the public property of the park, virtually closing i)or- 
tions of its resorts against ptiblic use by the people who are 
lawfully in possession of vested rights. 

The floods from the hnnberman's dam across the Mississippi, 
wliere it formerly connected its winding and descending channel, 
have precipitated a backwater overflow which overspreads and 
inimdates every shore of Itasca and Elk lakes and the banks C)f 
the creeks flowing into thei'n. All the adjoining tind)er lines 
bordering- those two lakes are now under water to the great 
damage of valuable state property. Lumbering and logging- 
roads have recently been indiscriminately slashed through and 
across park lands, disfiguring their beauty, and opening- the way 
to all the dangers of forest conflagrations against many mag- 
niflcent evergreen groves and promiscuous forests which were 
munbered among tlu^ most valuable j)ark holdings the state 
possessed. Xow those [)ossessions are hideously disfigured and 
the forests are dying and decaying- to afford avaricious hnnber- 
men tlie opportunity of conducting their private business for 


ju'i'sonal <iain to the <imit (laina<i.e of tlie state, jeopardizing- 
its iuvestineiits, }>riinaneiitly ruining- its ])roj)erty and prcn-ipi- 
tating' decay, <lestruction, floods, and tlie damages of Are where 
the beautiful sh(jre lines, waters and forests of a magnificent 
state park once rested in sublime enthrallnient and magnificent 

Xow the face of nature is seriously changed at the j)ark. 

On the 2Sth day of March, 1004, Attorney (Jeneral Douglas 
stood on the shore of Itasca Lake and personally witnessed 
those damaging" changes. 

Much has been said concerning* the legal rights of lumluM-- 
men to precipitate Itasca Lake into a log- boom, its waters 
into a reservoir, and its river into a closed timber chute. 

The state comes first at its park. Who has offered that it. 
also, has vested legal rights in its estate which shall be protected 
against indiscriminate deterioration for personal aggrandisement? 

It is a crime against the Nation and the State of Minnesota 
to longer jjermit the devastating onslaughts against Itasca Lake 
to continue withont protest and effective action I 

I have often willingly appealed to Governor Van Sant and 
Attorney General Douglas in a spirit of unselfish concern, for some 
definite amelioration of the destructive forces now oi)erating- their 
private calling over the waters and along the shores of Itasca 
Lake on the ground that they are reserved public emoluments. 

Many of the worst features of these distressing subjects are 
omitted from the pages of this volume as prejudicial disclosures 
against an ameliorating opportunity. 

Until January 1. IDOo, you are the officials who weild the 
greatest control over the destiny of Itasca State Park. Within 
that time active otficial authority energetically asserted, or abro- 
gated duty, means intense results for or against Itasca Lake and 
its environs. 

Rescue or continued destruction. Which? 

I beg and pray that you may favorably receive this my 
humble petition, earnestly requesting- you to direct an assertion 
of the legal rights of the state for tlie segregated preservation 
of its magnificent public park to the end that individuals nuiy 
not be com[)elled to demand the intervention of judicial inter- 
ce[)tion. Humbly and vt^ry respectfully. 

May 9, 11)04. J. V. liHOWKH. 



P »UE 

Sub- Division PMrst, Formative Period 33 

Sub-Division Second, IVrfretive Period 125 

Sub-Division Tliird. Critical Period 185 

Sub- Division Fourth, Tours of Observation 249 


Itasca Mounds x 

Itasea State I'ark ("liait xiii 

Mississippi Kiver ('<)nnnissi()n Chart xv 

Section of the Mississippi liiver 37 

First Chart of Itasca State Park 84 

Chart of Source of Mississippi 98 

State I'ark Diagram 120 

Lieutenant Allen's Chart 246 

Beltrami's Map of Doe Lake 266 

Schoolcraft's Map of Itasca Lake 267 

Ojlbway Indian Map ■. 268 


Portrait of the Author xx 

Portrait of K. B. Brower xxvi 

Portrait of I*ortius C. Deming- xxvii 

Portrait of J. H. O'Xeil xxviii 

Park Kapids and Itasca Koad xxix 

Portrjiit of Attorney General Wallace P>. Douglas xxx 

Itasca Park Lodge xxxi 

Portrait of Hernando de Soto xxxii 

Radisson .Manuscript 41 

Hernando de Soto Lake 49 

Section Corner Post 50 

Potshard and Ountlint Knife 54 

Textile Imprintation 55 

New Winnebagoshish Dam 71 

Portrait of William McMullen 78 

AIcMullen's Log Cabin 91 

Nicollet's Infant Mississippi 102 

Views at Itasca State Park 104 

White P.irch Thicket 106 

Birch and lialsam Thicket 1U7 

Views at (Jarrison Point 110 

Views at Schoolcraft Island 112 

Forest Scenes at Itasca Lake 114- 

Views at Fast Arm 116 

Record Post and Siiiii Board 118 

The Park's Cabin 122 

Views at Schoolcraft Island ~ 124 

Forest Views at Itasca liasin 128 

Forest Views at Itasca State Park 130 

View at Denung Lake 134 

View at Deming Lake 135 



Views at North Arm 138 

TluMxlore \Ve;iniaiin 139 

rmnp lirower at Maiy ( ivt^k 14-2 

Views Aloni;" the I'pper Mississippi 14-6 

Itasea State Parle House 14-8 

Shaking' Hands Aeross the Mississippi 150 

Views at the I'ark 154 

Kaiiisey Pine 156 

Lind Saddle Trail Posts 158 

(Juide Board 160 

A Si<;n Board 163 

\'iews at Deniin.n- Lake 164- 

Hrower and Finney Camps 168 

Winter Scenes 170 

Forest Views 173 

Keprodueed Field Notes 174- 

I'ortrait of Mary H. (iihbs 1S4 

Attorney (Jeneral Douglas* Treeplanter 191 

Dam Near Outlet of Itasca Lake 197 

Mouth of Nicollet's Infant Mississii)pi..: 202 

Cedar Forest 204- 

Mary Creek Forest 206 

The Gibbs Lumber Camj) and I^()<j;s 208 

Log- Views at Itasca Lake 222 

Views of Lo^i'iiinii" Dam 223 

Clay Imprint Of Potshard 229 

Old Claim Cabin 230 

View on the Mississippi 231 

Clianey Point and Bay 232 

Kakabikans Kai)ids 234 

View at Cass Lake 235 

Forest Scene at Brower Uidue 236 

On the Mississippi 237 

Historic Oaken i*ost 23S 

Tourists' Camp Scene 239 

Forest View at Mary Lake 240 

Camp Scene on the Mississippi 241 

Ancient Copper Objects 242 

View at Kakabikans Ka])ids 243 

Forest View at New State House 244 

Three Ojihway Chiefs : 248 

Ne - gon - e - be - ness ( Leadin.ij;- Feather) 250 

Ne-saun - dah-wance 251 

Crampton's Desci'Ut of the Mississipi)i 252 

Crarni)ton\s Camp on the Mississippi 253 

Pieces of Ancient Clay Vessels 254 

^yar Clubhead, Knife. Steel. Ftc 255 

L'nauthenticated Portrait of Kadisson 257 

Portrait of William Mori-ison : 258 

Portrait of .Julius Chaml)ers 259 

Portrait of Uev. J. A. (iilfillan 262 

I*ortrait of Peter and Mary Turnbull 263 

Kdwin C. Crampton and Companion 270 

P»ishop Breck and Imi - me - liow- bo w 272 

Ojibway Chief Flatmouth. 1S55 274 

Ojibwav P.ark Canoe 279 

Schutte Block Fire, 1896 280 


From ^Ir. CXeil's Great Xortheru Hotel at Park Kajnils. 
Minnesota, to Itasca Park Lodge at .Mary Creek, the (listance 
is twenty-three miles. In g(M3(l weather the drive can be made 
in three, fonr or five honrs, the time re(]nired depending ni)on 
the character of the conveyance and disposition of the driver. 

Mr. O'Xeil has continnously exerted an effective influence over 
accommodations for park tourists, roads, and the advancemeut 
of many interests of the state and its park. 

While a mend)er of the legislature from Hubbard County, he 
secured a standing ai)propriation for park purposes. 

Great regret was rei)eatedly ex|)ressed by advocates of the 
park when Mr. O'Xeil retired from the legislature. 



Appkopkiatiox Fon, Apphoved Aphil 21, 1903. 
Contract for CoxsTKrcTiox dated ^Iahch IS, 1904. 

The above perspective view of the new park building at Itasca 
Lake was reduced from the architect's draft extensions by the 
Art KngTaving- Coni[)any, of St. Paul, Minnesota, and not from 
actual field observations, consecpiently its appearance in the above 
sketch is onh' approximately illustrated. 

The location is at a beautiful pine forest near the bank of 
Mary Creek, in Clearwater County. 

Much regret has been expressed concerning the determination 
to construct the building from green, newly cut pine logs, instead 
of from seasoned timber. 

It is true that two citizens hav(» [)ositivrly refused to permit 
the use of their respective names for a designation oi this new 
state .structure on the ground that it is not ])ro})<*r to n;ime a 
state building after any living individual. 

Ori.iiiiial DiscovtMvr of t\w .Mississii)pi Hivoi-, 1.'41. 
From I'lihlications of the I^rndfiHd Club. 




Hernando de Soto, distinguished in the annnls of American his- 
tory as Adelantado of Florida, on Sunday, ^fay 8th. 1341, made or- 
iginal discovery of the ^Mississippi River where it flowed through a 
country called Quiz<iuiz. now known in part as the State of Mississippi. 

Mr. John Fiske following suggestions earlier made hy Count F. A. 
de Varnhagen while ambassador of Brazil to Portugal, in his Discovery 
of America, undertook the perpetuation of fraudulent history hy a stren- 
uous endeavor to prove that Americus Vespucius sailed past the mouth 
of the Great River in 1497, discovering that wonderful water-course. 
Fiske 's chart traces a voyage along the entire coast line of the Gulf 
of Mexico, laying down the imaginary discoveries of Vespucius. with 
no proof whatever that any such voyage was ever accomi)lished. A 
Mcaker and more i)icturesqne writer falling into error under the intlu- 
<Mice of the Varnhagen-Fiske romances, recently uttered an additional 
clause to the farce, at St. Paul, Minnesota, hy proposing that V«^spu- 
cius probably sailed his ship into the channel of tin? ^Mississippi and 
became its original discoverer. America is so cursed by careless and 
irresponsible writers who persist in recording errors, that it seems 
useless to undertake corrections to ameliorate the troubles ami per- 
plexities which embarrass more eautious wi'iters. Il(MVi>ver. one duty 
in that direction is now assumed i)y a brief eonsidei-ation of the true 



character of Mr. John Fiske, because his errors affect the stability of 

^Ir. Edwin C. Cranipton. the distiniruished photoj^rapher, as a 
painstakin<r student of American liistory r(^adinfr at page 232. Fiske's 
Critical Period in American History, earliest edition, quoted in an 
essay tlie speech there fornnilatt*d by Fisk(\ "svlio stated it as haviuL^ 
been delivered by ricor«re \Vashin«:ton at the constitutional convention 
for the founding of the Fnited States of America. An inquiry for fur- 
ther information concerning a speech that was never delivered until 
Mr. John Fiske uttered it on a deceptive and degrading page of history 
brought to Mr. Crampton the following astonishing admission that 
Fiske 's histories were based on whatever he might fortunately remem- 
ber, during the time he wrote, intermediate between influences pre- 
cipitated by excessive indulgences in stiundating usages: 

Cambridge, July 8. 1896. 

E. C. Cram])ton, Esq. 

Dear Sir: My statement in Crit. Period, p. 232, is inaccurate. I 
was misled by a misrecollection of the statement of Gouverneur ^lorris 
in his Eulogy, in a volume entitled Washingtoniana, p. 110, (publ Lan- 
caster, Pa.. 1802). 

Washington doubtless made the speech informally during the first 
week and before the convention was organized for regular work. All 
the same, it would seem to have toned up the convention. 

I discovered my error some time ago and shall correct it in the 
revised edition of C. P., which I hoi)e to issue late in 1897. 

Yours truly, 

''Misled by a misrecollection'' while writing for the guidance of 
young students of American history, is a very extraordinary statement, 
no more so than the utterance of a falsehood tliat Vespucius discovered 
the Mississip])i, or that the meaning of Kansa is "South Wind;" — in- 
excusable absurdities, llow many additional errors Mr. John Fiske 
inflicted upon American history must remain uidvuown until events 
purge the unfortunate writer's record of per-haps hundreds of his 
" misrecollections, ' ' from tbe ])Owei* to mislead the unwary and de- 
ceive the just. 'J'he correction of an additional en-or eoneerning the 



(liscovery of the Mississi[)j)i, rtM-ently inflicted upon tho Minnesota 
Historical Society, is here l)ricriy undertaken. 

Alonzo xVlvarez de Pinedri. in 1519. while searcliinpr for some <rulf 
or strait in the main hind towards Florida, put in with his vessels to a 
hay where there was a lar^'e river and populous mainland. He ascend'-d 
the river al)out sixteen miles, discoverintr forty villages of natives at 
the province of Aniiehel. a ^rood land, peaceful, healthy, and provided 
with abundance of food and fruits. This visit of Pineda to a region 
maintaining forty towns was without difficulty or embarrassing impedi- 
ments to easy and satisfactory navigation. The exi)lorations aloiiL^ 
the coast of Florida, conducted recently by 'S\i\ Clarence B. Moore, indi- 
cate that ^lobile Bay with its two rivers and 7iumerous indications of 
ancient Indian occupancy can be reasonably and assuredly accepted as 
the site whei-e Pineda careened his vessels on a convenient and acces- 
sible shore while trading at populous villages of native Indians: in- 
deed, no other bay on the north coast of the TJulf of ^Mexico fulfills the 
Pineda descrij)tion. A continuation of ]\Ir. Moore's exi)l()rations thence 
westward shows that the ancient j)opulation was most certainly less 
toward the mouth of the ^Mississippi, until finally approaching Ponchar- 
train all evidences of ancient occupancy cease entirely, so that ^Fobile 
Bay can be reasonably accepted as the scene of Pineda's visit in 1519. 
The claim that Pineda sailed up the [Mississippi River 'iUO miles and 
niade complete discovery of that stream between the delta and the ap- 
jjroachable banks of the river about the present site of Baton Rouge is 
preposterous, damaging to the society which ])ei-mits a captious writer 
to menace its stability and degrade its iM^cord. It can be safely de- 
termined ])eyond the possibility of doubt that n- ithei- \'espu('ius nov 
Pineda saw or sailed into the channel of the ]^Iississippi. When (Ja ray's 
expedition, undei- command of Panfilo d*' Xarvaez, sailed its wo(Hlen 
boats past the mouth of the Mississippi, the unfortunate members of 
that remarkable voyage were di-iven out to sea without entering the 
channel of the stream which flooded the gulf with fresii watei*. To see 
and mention a freshet flowing into the (Julf of Mexico, in 15l?8, can 
never be aeeepted with pj'oper reiiard for established standar-ds. as a 
ti'Ue discovery of the M ississi j)j)i. It remained for Hernando de Soto, 



thirteen years lat»M'. to make the true discovery, and it is to he re- 
<i:retted tliat the Lrcntleinan of Elvas did not nanic it IIernan(h> (h' S(>to 
River, in honor of tlie intrepid thougrh eruel discoveicr who first dis- 
covered the importance of its existence, a conditioii wliieh lias licen 
insignificantly amt-lioi-ated hy the j^resent author in naiiiini: a beauti- 
ful lake at Itasca Hasin after the true and oriirinal discoverer of the 
longest river channel in the world. 

A very siirnificant fact in connection with the Pineda-Soto separate 
chronicles of distinct discoveries and exploi-ations. characteristically 
reveals the names of the various lands they visited. Tineda at Amichel 
and Soto at Quizcpiiz and Pacaha, consequently the writers who send 
the I'ineda exjU'dition up the Mississippi several hundred miles to 
habitable areas above the canebrakes and swamps below Raton Rouge 
must obliterate the name Quizquiz from our history and substitute 
Amichel in its place, an act impossible of accomplishment and dishonor- 
able to propose. Likewise they nuist entirely chanue established his- 
tory identifying the character of the people at each province in ord'^' 
to accomplish the jiroposition of sending Pineda up the channel of the 
^rississippi from the Gulf of ^lexico sixteen miles to forty villages of 
natives at Amichel in the flooded districts of the present State of 
Louisiana about Poiichartrain or below Xew Orleans. Such consid- 
erations plainly reveal how distressing is the spectacle at the com- 
mencement of the benign and critical i)eriod for accui'acy in American 
history, to witness any society in all this great land adopting into its 
records a de-eptive and disirrnceful change from facts to fiction by 
attempts to land I'iiK-da on the lianks of th" Mississippi as its discov- 
erer where he could not have found forty towns or even one village 
of natives at a land of plenty called Amichel. (^ne hundred and 
eighty years after Pineda was at Mobile Pay, Iberville found the people 
of Amilcou in the region east of the Mississippi and not on tlu^ banks 
of that river. 

Soto died on the baid<.s of the river he discovei'ed and his i-enujins 
were cast into that sti-cam, whei-eupon his lieutenant. Luys .Moscoso. 
in I'udely made wooden ships, navigated the lower portion of the river 
from Quiz([uiz and Pacah.a to the open sea beyond P(uicharti-ain. com- 


^''^^^^ Hoii.u'e. Louisiana, sliowijin: the imp-.s-slMIiiv of 
I inu a s ( aivivels sailing up that swift, cicoked and l-arrirH.h'd channel, in 
. to Amiclicl. wliieh was not locateii on thr M ississippi at a h. n.l called 
V n/quiz hy chroniclers of the S„to expedition in lo41. F<utv viih.u'es of 
a Km r f'^^ '"''^ ^'"^'^^^''^ =^1""^' -•>" miles of the Mississippi at 

s-iil : plenty on account of annual Hoods, hence Pineda did fiot 

•m stream to foity thri vinnr towns occupied by natives, 

lie (inl not discover the Mississippi river. i i > 



pleting a substantial discovtM-y l)aso(l on actual pci-fonna nets \v\u\r 
suiVerin<^ inci'odible misfor-tuncs in an unknown country. Why cap- 
tious and disi'cspoctful writers should undcrtak<' an unliappy proposal 
to change such substantial history for va^uc and unproved j)roposals in 
favor of Vespucius and Pineda, can only be accounted for by a pre- 
sumption that insi«rnificant authors hoj.i^ to l)econi(^ more noticed and 
less obscure, even at the expense of outratred history. 

In 1659, two Frenchmen, Pierre Esprit Kadisson and Medard 
Chouart, intrepid and tireless explorers in the fur country of Lake 
Superior, were invited by the Sj)irit Lake villa^'-ers (Dakotas, of Mille 
Lac) to visit their country. From the headwaters of St. Croix River 
they proceeded westward along the Knife TLsanti) Sioux Trail, first 
placing- the footprints of Europeans upon the soil of ^Minnesota at 
the locality now known as Pine County, in the month of January. 
They came into contact with the Dakotas of the Teton and Ihankt<>n 
bands, surely indicated by Kadisson 's correct descriptions of tln^ 
prairies of ^Minnesota lying west of the iNFississippi, nnd securing- a 
description of Forked River, very reasonably understood to mean the 
^lissouri and upper ^Mississippi as the forks of the main stream. By 
the details mentioned in Radisson's published book, accurately de- 
scribing the forested and prairie regions of [Minnesota and the known 
habits and settlements of the Dakota Nation, there can remain little 
doubt that Radisson and Chouart not only became the original dis- 
coverers of AFinnesota but also of the Tapper ^lississipi i. 

The studies of Benjamin Suite and of Ileni-y Colon Cami)bell. 
reputable students of the Radisson narratives. sini[)lif\ that unique 
and curiously written history to such an extent that the inihappy 
effort to land those exi)l(n'ers at Prairie Island above Red Win^- and 
Lake Pepin must necessarily become a menace to the stability of such 
a prize as is guaranteed by uncontaniinated and undisturbed ti-uths of 

After Radisson came the renuirkable voyages of various time- 
honored pioneer explorers along the whole eoui'se of the Mississippi. 
Kvents became pi-ecious to the historical students who declare f(U- the 
facts in i)lace of fictitious ronnuuM's and dej)lorablc errors until at the 

«»'i.Kc i]uN or iiox. w. K. m.:k. ick iiKi'!:oi>rr riuN in rH iV v.Su 'ik 



dawn of tlx; twentieth century tin- cohwehs of iineei-tainty can be swef)t 
aside to give place to a tal)iiiated, compact catalogue of discoveries 
from the (jiulf of ^lexico to Itasca Lake, along the whole course of the 


1497. Americus V(\si)ucius was in Spain attendin'j to profes- 
sional duties as a ship chandler. Tliere is no proof to suhstantiat*^ th'- 
bogus claim that he discovered the ^NFississippi River. Any such state- 
ment should be stamped as a base attempt to falsify history. 

1519. Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda sailed into Mobile Hay. cai'eened 
his shii)s on ai)proachable shores and peiu'ti-ated a I'iver sixteen miles, 
occupied by natives at forty villages. The Mississippi Hivcr at its 
mouths Avas unnavigable on account of floating deadwood. Hooded 
banks and turbid currents, up which ships could not sail. Xo native 
villages on dry ground could be made pernument along tlie lowest 200 
miles of the [Mississippi. 

1528. Panfilo de Xarvaez sailed to a point opposite one of the 
months of the ^lississippi, but did not enter or discover its chaniud. 
Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. treasurer and chronicler of the expedition, re- 
ported the facts, as follows : 

"AVe sailed that day until the middle of the afternoon, when my 
boat, which was first, discovered a point made by the land, and 
against a cape opposite passed a broad river. I cast anchor near a 
little island forming the point, to await the ai'rival of the other boats. 
The Governor did not choose to come up, and entered the bay near by 
in which were a great numy islets.. AVe came tog(^ther there and took 
fresh water from the sea, the stream entering it in freshet. To parch 
some of the maize we brought with us. since we had eaten it raw for 
two days, we went on an island, but finding no wood, we agreed to go 
to the river beyond the i>oint, one league oit*. By no elfoi't could we 
get there, so violent was the current on the way, which diove us out 
while we contended and strove to gain the land. Tlu^ no?-th wind 
which came from the shore began to blow so strongly that it forced 

■ a. 

/To t> Lfi^ 

^.d.. ^A.,^ . - ^ — 

itt.^^^ ••rf-/?^ a,^^^^ /^t^M.' c^o^t^ 

^JiL/S^<^^^ i'^i^-^^^^^i-i^dcAu^ 

f/tlAi* /<4iL.^ ^'U> ^ ;*"<'«w r>*'//tmJ^^^ ^ 




'Sr^:^-^>" -;f/f-rf ^--^Vr-? 

j£, .rv^ a.Ji^o ^ J^cxJ:.y, '^^^ ^it^i^^ '^J^^p-^ fC^dr^ 






US to sea witlioiit our being able to overcome it.- Minn. Historical 
Collections, Vol. \). '2'S. 

1541. Heriiaiido de Soto discovered th.' Missis.sippi. May 8th lold 
style), at an Indian province called Quizr|uiz. crossed it. explored 
regions beyond, returned to the river a.eain. April 17th. ]~A2. wli^re 
he soon died, and his remains were afterward sunlc to th(^ bottom of 
the ^Mississippi, which he had named the Rio Grande. 

1543. Luys ^loscoso, after Soto died, assumed commam.l of tlif 
Spanish forces, and in seven newly constructed brigantines. passed 
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of ^Mexico, completing a perfected 
discovery of the Great Kiver along its lower course. 

1660. Peter Esprit Radisson and ^ledard Chouart. two French- 
men visiting the Dakota nation of Indians at and west from ]\Iille Lae. 
learned of the existence of the [Mississippi, which flowed throuirh the 
Dakota region. Radisson 's unique narrative. n(nv on deposit with the 
Bodleian Library at Oxford, contains the following: 

"We weare 4 moneths in our voyage without doeing anything 
but goe from river to river. We mett several sorts of people. We con- 
versed with them, being long time in alliance with them. By the pt^-sua- 
sion of som of them we went into 3'e great river that divides itself in 'J, 
where the hurrons with some Ottanake & the wild men that had wai-i-s 
with them had retired. There is not great difference in their lauLTuai:'- 
as we weare told. This nation have warrs against those of forked river, 
it is so called because it has 2 branches, the one towards the west, tlie 
other towards the south, v.'ch we believe runns towards Mexico, by th»' 
tokens they gave us.*' 

The trumped up claim that the above laiiLruage can be constr'nccl 
as descriptive of the discovery of ^linnesota in 1655. at Praii'ie Island, 
in the Mississippi, above Lake Pepin, has been expensed and eondeninrd 
in Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the Mississippi, ^'ol. \' . 
pp.. 104-111, as inimical to the cause of geographic seience. 

1661. Fathei- Nicholas P'reytas. a elironicler of the expedition ot" 
Governor Penalosa of Xt>w Mexico, first menti(Micd the name "Mis- 
sissippi,'' in the following words: 

"Through these most pleasant and fer-tile fields -we marcdied dui-- 
iT>g the months of ^iareh. April. May and tlie kalends of .]uii«'. and 



arrived at a \i\v^e river wliieh they t-all Misdiipi. uiic're we saw the 
first Indians of tlie Eseaiixa(iues nation, who nii^rht ix^ to the number 
of 3,000 most warlike." <'te. — Minn. Historical Collections, \'ol. VII.. 
p. 36. 

Recent investigations which bring into question the Penalosa ex- 
pedition cannot finally affect the fact that Father Freytas wrote the 
word '']\[ischipi," tliereby becoming its original cliron icier. 

1673. Louis Joliet and Father Jacques ^larquette, S. J., reached 
the I\[ississippi at the mouth of the AVisconsin on the 15th (17th?) day 
of June, whence they descended the ^rississip])i in a canoe to tht^ 
region Vvhere Hernando de Soto died 159 years before. The first men- 
tion ever made of Itasca Lake was by Marquette, as follows: 

''The ^lississippi river derives its origin from various lakes which 
lie in the country of the tribes of the north." 

1680. When the Sieur de LaSalle sent :\richael Accault and An- 
thony Auguelle, on the 29th of February, IGSO, on a voyage from Fort 
Crevecouer in a canoe loaded with goods to trade with the Xadoues- 
sioux along the upper course of the ^Mississippi, P'ather Louis Henne- 
pin was despatched with them. The party arrived at the mouth of 
the Illinois Kiver ^Farch 7th, and proceeded to make an unquestioned 
original discovery of the upper course of the ^Mississippi. They wert' 
taken prisoners by a Sioux war party near the site of the present City 
of Burlington, Iowa, and in nineteen days arrived at Dayton's Bluffs 
and proceeded overland to ]Mille Lac, whence in July they proceeded 
down Kum River and the [Mississippi to St. Anthony Falls, mouth of 
Minnesota River, and thence down the ^lississippi, completing a dis- 
covery of that stream from the mouth of the Illinois to the entrance 
of Rum River, where the City of Anoka is now situated. 

The Accault-llennepin discoveries will eventuall}" supersede the 
uncertainties of the Radisson-Chouart claim on account of missing 
proof and unreliable interpretations.. 

1690-1700. Pi(M're Le Sueur, discoverer of Minnesota River and 
trader among the Sioux villagers, writing from Paris in 1701, said: 

"I have already said that I had ascended more than 100 leagues 
above the Falls of St. Anthony, which is the only place where it is 



iioeessary to carry one's canoe and Ija?ira<:e. in ascending the Mis- 
sissipi)i from its mouth to its source, and the Sioux with whom I went 
up assured me that there were yet more than ten days journey to 
ascend. It is at least 1^0 leagues before comin<^- to the sources of the 
Mississij)pi. I say sources, l)ecaus(^ there are many of tli'-m. acpordinir 
lo the report of the savages." 

The exact date when Le Sueur ascended the Mississippi from St. 
Anthony Falls to Sandy Lake seems to have i)een lost to history. 

1798. David Thomp-son, an English Astronomer, entered the ser- 
vice of the Northwest Company in 1797. In the performance of the duties 
required of him, he passed from the north shore of Lake Superior to 
>[anitoba and the ]\Iandan villages on the ]\[issouri and prepared to 
"connect" the waters of the Ked Kiver and the ^lississippi. He left 
the ^[ouse River February 25th. 1798, with a dog train. lie suc- 
cessively reached and i)assed the mouth of the Assiniboine and Pem- 
bina Rivers, passed up the Red River of the North to Red Lake River, 
and on the 17th of April arrived at Red Lake. Passing to the south- 
ward, he reached Turtle Lake April 27th, from which flows "Turtle 
Prook." He was accredited, to some extent, as the discoverer of the 
source of the [Mississippi at Turtle Lake. He descended Turtle River 
to Cass Lake, and thence down the ^[ississippi through "AVinni- 
pegoos" Lake to the north of "Sand Lake River" and thence across 
the divide to Lake Superior. Notes of his travels have been preservtnl 
a)id to some extent published, making his v(\vage the first authentic 
account of an examination of that part of the ^Iississip})i River be- 
tween Cass Lake and Sandy Lake.— Vol. VIL, Minn. Historical Col- 
lections, p. 117. 

The i-ecords left by Mr. Thompson have become ina('('essil)le by 
inopportune and hapha/zard distribution. A search for confirmation 
of the repoi't that Mr. 'iliompson was at Itasca Lake in 1812. or Ix^foi-e 
lhat date, has been without result, at Ottawa, Canada, and elsewhere. 

18CU. An authenticated communication in the haiuhviit inir «>f 
^Villiam ^Torrison. addressed to his brotlier, Allan Morrison, con- 



tinues to remain the only known description of the orij^inal discovery ui 
Itasca Lake, which is reprinted as follows: 

Berthier, 16th Januaiy, 1856. 

My Dear Brother : — Your letter of the 26th ultimo has come to 
hand. We were happy to hear from you and yours. Oeor.i^e's letters 
likewise are received. Fanny will answer him and his mother also. 

You do not say a word about A'our trip to the States this wintvi- 
{»nd your intended visit to us. AVill not the treaty take place tliis 
winter ? 

I note what you say concerning the source of the Mississippi. 
You wish to know who was the first person who went to its source. 
For the information of the H. Society, .1 will state to you all about 
w^hat came to my knowledge, by which you will perceive that H. K. 
Schoolcraft is in error and that he was not the first person who made 
the discovery of the source of the Mississippi. 

I left the old Grand Portage, July, 1802, landed at Leech Lake in 
September. In October, I went and wintered on one of the Crow W'uwi 
streams near its source. Our Indians were Pillagers: in 1803-4. I went 
and wintered at Lac La Folic. I left Leech Lake, passed by Red Cedar 
Lake, up river Lac Travers to the lake of that name, then up river 
J^a Biche or Elk Kiver, to near Lake La Biche, when we made a port- 
age to fall into Lac La Folic. Lac La Biche is near to Lac La Follr. 
Lac La Biche is the source of the Great River ^[ississippi, which 1 
visited in 1804, and if the late Gen. Pike did not lay it down as sucli 
when he came to Leech Lake it is because he did not happen to meet 
me. I was at an outpost that winter. The late Gen. Pike laid down 
on his book Red Cedar Lake as the head of the Mississippi River. I 
did not trace any vestige of white men before me. In 1811-12. I win- 
tered again at Lac La Folic near to the })lains. AVe went down river 
La Folic some distance. I then overtook a gentleman with an outfit 
from ^lichilimackinac, Mr. Otepe, with whom I parted only at Fon du 
Lac. lie took the south towards Mch'a and I north to our head^iuar- 
ters, which had been changed to Fort William noi-th of the Grand 
IVrtage. ''.riiis I expect will explain that T visited in 1804. Klk Lnke. 
and again in 1811-12.. With respect to the lirst Fon du Lac traders. 



\v<' all came from Mackinac. Some came by Lake Siipei-ioi- ,\nd others 
lip by Prairie du Chien. up to Crow AVinrr and some went to Lac I^a 
(>no de rOutre — Otter Tail Lake— ^Ft'ssrs. Reaume, Cotton, Casselais. 
Sayers, liCtanj? and several others, some came by Lake Superior and 
others up the ^lississippi by way of Prairie du Chien. These persons 
were persons who preceded us. The French had trading: posts on Lake 
Superior, but not in the interior of F. 1). L. that I could ever discover. 
The late Mr. Sayers returned from [Nlckina and found that his bands of 
Indians had died ])y the smallpox— 1780— I think. 

Perliaps it is not amiss to mention that I went to the Indian coun- 
try entra'ied to Sir Alexander ^IcKenzie & Co., who had joined stock 
with the X. Y. Co., formerly the Richardson & Co. 

I went into the country in opposition to the old X. W. Co. I founrl 
ill Fon du Lac, X. AV. traders, ^Messrs. Sayers at Leech Lake, Cotton at 
Fon du Lac and Bousquai at Sandy Lake. My i^arty were ^Michel and 
Antoine Cheniers— brothers, John ]\rcBean and ^Messrs. Bouvin and 

We opposed all the X. AV. posts until 1805, when a coalition took 
place between ]\rcKenzie and X. W. Co. The trade was carried on 
jointly until after the late war in 181G. J. J. Astor of Xew York. 
l»ou«i:ht out the whole stocks of the company which was within the V. 
S. territory. J. J. A. gave the name of his concern the A. ]\L F. Co , 
who extended their trade from the old Orand Portage to the Lake of 
the Woods. Their route was up the St. Louis to the heights of laud 
•iiid then down the Rainy Lake River to Lake of the Woods. Our 
•-•randfathvH' Waddin was killed by Pierrepont and Lasiur in 1780 arul 
bnrit'd at Lac Le Rouge, 

1 have not ^IcKenzie's travels before me for the precise years of 
Ills voyage. 

Francheu is pretty correct in his statements. Mr. Bond, your 
writer, must have seen these gentlemen's travels. 

I will send you enclosed a letter from my old friend Geo. Xelson, 
who wiut<'red at FoUe Avoine in 1802-3-4. 

I have had the honor of having been named a member of the II. S. 



ot Superior, who have a just ri^^ht to claim any information they may 
require that 1 can «j:ive them. Your alVcctionate l)rother, 


1832. Henry K. Schoolcraft. Lieut. James Alien, Rev. AV. T. 
Boutwell and several members of tlu' Schoolcraft expedition, guided 
by an Ojibway Indian named Ozawindib ( Yellow Hair), reached Itasca 
]^ake July 13th, and went into an encampm-Mit at Schoolcraft Island. 
^Ir. Boutwell and Schoolcraft had previously named the lake from 
the two words— Veritas and Caput, meaning- tru<' head. The j)resent 
author secured from .Mr. Boutwell in person a complete description 
of how, Avhen and where the name Itasca was for'unilatcd, a> described 
at page 1-45, Vol. VII., Minn. Historical Collections. They d<'sconded 
the [Mississippi from Itasca Lake to Cass Lake. 

1836. Jean X. Nicollet, a talented French Astronomer, on a canoe 
voyag:e to Itasca Lake, discovered and explored Nicollet's Infant ]\Iis- 
sissippi, August 29th, to the Nicolh^t lakes and s])rings. 

1872. Julius Chandlers, June 9th, coasted Elk Lake in his canoe, 
discovering- and ascending- Chandlers' Creek, which the present author 
named in his honor.. The Chambers discovery is completely authenti- 
cated by a. nuip and printed descriptions. 

1875. Edwin S. Hall, with a i)arty of assistants and a team, first 
reached Itasca Lake with horses in the month of October, when he 
made an official survey of the township for the United States, estab- 
lishing section corners and meandering Elk and Itasca lakes. 

1889. J. V. Brower, with an exphu-itig i)arty, representing the 
^linnesota Historical Society, i)enetrated the Itasca Basin with tt'ansit 
and level lines to Morrison and Hernando dc Soto lakes, which he 
!)anied, finally !-eaching tlie utmost waters in tln^ Hasin tlie Mis- 
sissippi: photog:raphing tlie same May 3i'd, and j>lacin,g on charts the 
ultimate reservoiis which give birth to the si)rings at the source 

^ - 



S. 21. 22.27, 2S. T. 14.!. U. :iC. 
KSTAHl.lSIlF.l) MV KDW IX S. HAI.L. is"). 



tlio Mississipj)i Kiver. The iiiial c-liart of those discoveries has become 
a stanchu'd record. 

Thus the entire lenirth of the channel of the river was discovered 
Let ween June 9th, 1541, and .May 3id, ISSl). 


Havini,' stated concisely aeceptable and duly authenticated facts 
concerning- the discovery of the ^Mississippi fi-om its mouth to Itasca 
Lake and its Ultimate Reservoii', re.iectinir unfounded alleuations and 
t'ctitious romances, attempttnl by unseendy chroniclers as ambitious 
and unwarranted changes a^^ainst a clean and reputable record, that 
the truth might expire and the vicious survive, attention is directed 
toward a beautiful geological study represented by peculiar and at- 
tractive typographic heights and hydrogra})hic depths. 

No competent geoh:>gist has ever critically examined the Itasca 
Basin and no extended study of its geologic history has been liereto- 
fore attempted, notwithstanding the importance of the natural forma- 
tion whicli created a ct^ntinental divide Avithin sight of Itasca Lake 
at a point near the head of Boutwell and Denu^ray creeks, whence 
v.aters flow to the Gulf of ^lexico and Hudson Bay, respectively, from 
111*' summit of Itasca ^[oraine, a range of glacial hills which ti-end 
tKirth and south from the head of AVild Rice River to a ])oint west 
from Hernando de Soto Lake, and thence sharply eastward. formiuLi 
iuj elbow-shaped curvatui'e, inside of wliich is a deeply seatt'(l depri's- 
siou known as the Itasca Basin, about four miles in extent in any 
<iirection from the centre of Elk Lake, wluM-e the greatest depth of 
water is 90 feet, adjacent heights of land attaining an ehn'ati«>n :\'2^ 
f''et greater than the lowest depression at the pit of the basin. The 
gr«'ater heiglits ai'e east and west of L^lk Lake, creating a lower level 
^vliere ^Torrison aiul Hernando de Soto lakes are situated than ai)|)ears 
at the head of Boutwell Creek or at Sibilant Lak(\ Those shai-ply ditVer- 
<^'itiated heiglits and depths in close pj-oximity, capable of beini: viewe;! 
Ij'oim the crest of Alton Heights, indicate a j^robable pressure of 
t'euK'ndous glacial forces fi-om a northeastward dii-ection tow;ii-il the 



S(>uthw»*st. ciH'ntinL'- ki^tt Ic holes now lillcd with wat<T at Ita><.'a. Klk. M()V- 
risoii, Hernando (h* Soto and many h'sst'i- lakes, sovornl of whicli were 
originally one lai-.m' irlacial lake encompassed ))\' snrfoundini:- heiirhts. 
whicli wei-e severed at Kakahikans Rai»ids. th».* erosion of n^os «iradu- 
ally formin«r the hed of tlie Mississippi as it flows out from the nortli 
end of Itasca Ijnkv at the present tini(\ That f^lacial lake had extensive 
arms and bays, extendiiiir up tlie present location of French, Island, 
Boutwell. Mary and other creeks. Mary \'alley and Nicollet Valley, 
nuiintainiii}^ an oriiiiiial area several times the present size of Itasca 
l^ake. with Hear Point. Morrison Ilill and Brower Ridge as Island 

Caiicelino- the foot note at page 243, Vol VII.. Minn. Historical 
Collections, the ancient lake at Itasca Basin is now named Win- 
chell Lake, after Professor Newton II. Wincliell. he having named an- 
other glacial body of water Tpham Lake, thereby the glacial no- 
nienclature of Minnesota is easily and conveniently readjusted to 
ameliorate an inadvertent repetition caused by an oversight on the 
part of Professor AViuchell. 

One beautiful study concerning the eroded stream-beds formulated 
by the gradual recession and sharj)ly reduced lake area originally rep- 
resented by the exi)anse of Winchell Lake, is found at the head of 
Division Creek (profanely an.d often called Suckc Creek V where at an 
extensive marshy and swampy division of waters dui-ing excessive i-ain- 
fall, the Howage h east to the Mississippi and westward to the Hed River 
of the North from a given j^oin.t, ereating connectiMl channels of water 
from the (iulf of ^Texico to Hudson Bay, whereby expressifiii was 
faithfully i-endered in applying the name to Division Creek to indicate 
that the watei's divided at the head of that stream on the surface at 
the east side of Township 144, Range 37, likewisi^ at the crest of a ridge 
whei-e the waters divided. 

The names of l)ivisi(Ui Creek in ])lace of Suek<M" Creek, and ^Fc- 
I^Iullen Lake in jdaee of S<juaw I.ak'e. ai*e confidently reasserted to ap- 
proi)?-iately i-ecogni/.e and pei'petuate hydrographie and historic facts, 
nicely to diseriminale airainst the vuliraj- notions of iiriK^-ant ami illittM*- 
.'ite timbei- ciaiisers who have not been keenly aware of the intricate 



roiMiiatioii of inoraiiiic liei<^''hts at Division Ci'eok, or the services to 
iiumaiiity iinseHis]il\- i-eii{ler(>d !)y the unfortunate AVilliani .MeMiiUcn 
; I his cabin at Itasca ].ake. 

The earliest known api)eai-anee of man alon;i tlie course of the 
Mississippi Kiver was at tlie white fpiartz and shite quarries under- 
lying Litth^ Falls, Aforrison County, Minnesota. 

Wliile the ice-ca}) at the end of the hist «;lacial period rested 
across the area of Xortliern Minnesota, in summer seasons pre'cipitatin'j" 
floods southwaid, an unidentified race of m(Mi quarritnl tlie quartz at 
Little Falls and chipped innumerable blades from that material, leav- 
ing many thousands of chippings and cores near the quarry site where 
irlacial sands aiul cobbles and pebbles were spread over the area occu- 
pied by a glacial people. Carefully arranged explorations disclosed the 
tiue conditions wdiich exist there, indicating certainly that a paleolithic 
peo])le were ju'esent in the ^lississippi Basin more than 7,000 years ago. 
A recent discovery by the })resent author at the top of a high hill on 
the Avest side of the Mississippi, one mile above the City of Hrainerd, 
where white ((uartz blades and chippings Avere recovered froni tln^ walls 
of an excavated roadway, deej^ly buried in the glacial sands, ade- 
quately sustain the Little Falls discovery. [More particularly so be- 
<*;'Use at neither site could be found associated with the quartz blade 
i'liy pot shard, arrowpoint or spearhead, common objects plentifully 
s<'attered over all the mound builder vilhige sites along the L'pper Mis- 

In October, 189J:, the location of a considerable mound builder 
'H-cupancy was first discovered at Itasca Lake along the east shore of 
the north arm, where McMullen's cabin was situated. The followinir 
year the Itasca mounds Avere discovered and explored, followed by 
h^ss inqiortant (»utlying indications of ancient occupancy at Tlill Point, 
Morrison Hill jmd Mary Lake. Deep cache pits were also disco v<'riMl 
'♦n Schoolcraft Island, at ^Fary Creek and at Deming Lake. Subsi^- 
qnent e.xaminations resulted in a conclusion that the* montul builders 
l'ii<l a trail from Itasca ]j<\ki' to Sibilant Lake and Lesser Mantrap 
Lake. Til." village site at the noi-th end of Itasca Fiake was pleasaiitly 
Situated alojig a n.atural ttM'race ovei-lookiiig the lake, and the mound 



Identified as Dakota Indian Objects by Acute Comparison witli Mil'.e Lac 
Aichaeologic Miiseinn Collections. 

■■' . V. t^' A,. ; 

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DAKOTA INDIAN I'OTSllAKD FKO.M LAKE PIIMN. IM 10T( >( . I '111 .1 ) \\\' 

C. G. WEVL. 

riM'EIi liliANCllKS OF TIIF. .M ISSISSI I'lT. I'.ui;! 



irroiip was loentod one-quarter of a mile to the northward. Kxploi-ations 
indicated eouehisively tliat the Itasea l^ake mound huilder was of tin: 
same nation and time as the ^Filh^ Lac, I'ine liiNcr anfl Fort l*ill;iL:t'r 
ithoriuiiies. j feceding the comiuL!' of the (.)jil)wa\- iiation. and also that 
the vilhj^ie at Itas;-a Lake was not of greater ace than the earthworks 
v hieli were constructed in Xoi-thcrn Minnesota (hiring the contitniancc 
(if the llolie war, previous to l»j;j4. Also that all of tlic mounds in 
^[innesota were constructed by aneient Indian [)eoples. ancestoi-s of 
the pi-esent Sioux, loAva, Assinihoine and othei- hands. The villaLT'' 
site and mounds at Itasca Lake were of Dakota Indian origin, cxactlx' 
similar to tlie village sites and mounds established by the sam<^ pe(>i)lc 
at Mille Lac. 

^Fany hundreds of arrowpoints, stone liamniers. spe:ii']u^ads. bla(h's 
(lint knives, cores, j^ot shards and objects have l)een gathered from the 
Itasca Lake village site, wliich was originally discovered by tht^ pres- 
ent author while he was commissioner of Itasca State Park, and th • 
collection forms a ver}^ interesting ])ortion of the Archaeologic ^lu- 
scum material preserved in the Capitol building at St. Paul, Minne- 
sota, by tlie author of this volume. 

The scientific study wliich resulted in a complete identification of 
the ancient Lakota bands as builders of mounds and maimers of clay 
pots and flint arrowpoints has been per{)etuated in Mille Lac, Kathio, 
Kakabikansing" and Minnesota, four volumes i)ublislied from field 
iMites, cliarts and surveys established by the investigations which orig- 
inally resulted in locating Itasca State Pai'k. 

The fact that Dakota Indians used scatVohU for moi'tuai-y pur- 
l»oses, bundling the bones of their dead <{ft(M-ward. and barricading the 
safiie M'ith earth, thereby forming many thousands of mounds. gav(^ 
oerasion to arcliaeologically ti'ace them to discover exactly' their an- 
cient customs and habits. The results overturntnl previous cnm-hisions 
wlien it was found that oi'iginal mound interuKMits at Mille Lac con- 
lairied Dakota Indian pottei-y. ari-owpoints and bundled bones. 

An otVshoot of one of the Dakota bands established the Itasca 
Lake village site and consti'ucted the mouiuls there di x'oviM-ed. 

l>efore prociM'dijiii- to a considei-ation ol' the delniis relating to the 
!iumei-ous items of histoi-ic nnscellany affecting Itasca State i'ark, the 



laws governing it are here republished for the better giiidanee of those 
who choose to become familiar with the facts: 


Be is enacted by the Eegislature of the State of ^linnesota: 

Section 1. That section six (6), township one hundred and forty- 
two (142j, range thirty-five (35) : sections six ( 6j, seven (7), eighteen 
(18), nineteen (10). thirty (30) and thirty-one (31), township one 
hundred and forty three U^3), range thirty-five (35) ; sections one 
(1), two (2), three (3), four (4), nine (9), ten (10), eleven (11), 
twelve (12), thirteen (13). fourteen (14), fifteen (15), sixteen (16), 
twenty-one (21), twenty-two (22^ twenty-three (23), twenty-four 
(24), twenty-five (25). twenty-six (26), twenty-seven (27), twenty- 
eight (28), thirty-three (33), thirty-four (SA). thirty-five (35), and 
thirty-six (36), townsliip one hundred and forty-three (143), range 
thirty-six (36): and sections one (1), two (2), three (3) and four 
(4), township one hundred and f(M'ty-two (142), range thirty-six (36), 
or so much thereof as the state is now or nuiy hereafter become seized, 
shall be set apart and j erpetually used as a public park. 

See. 2. The name of said park shall be the Itasca State Park, and 
the same is by this act dedicated to the perpetual use of the people of 
this state under the proper i-estrictions hereinafter provided, or which 
may be hereafter |)rovi(led by law. 

Sec. 3. The general care and supervision of the Itasca State 
Park, until otherwise provided for, shall be vested in the state auditor 
acting as state land commissioner. 

Sec. 4. Any person who shall wilfully cut, destroy or nnitilate, 
or who shall wilfully cause to be cut, destroyed or mutilated, any tree, 
timber or evergreen in said park, or who shall kill or cause to be killed 
any moose, bear. deer, fox, otter or othei- wild animal in s:^id park, 
or who shall in any other manner than with a hook and line take any 
fish from the waters of said park, shall be uuilty of a misdenu^anor, and. 
upon conviction thereof, shall be fined for the first oft'iMise fifty (50) 
dollars, for the second otVense two hutulred ( 200) dollars, and for tln^ 
third or further otVensrs he shall be fined and im])ris(Mi»Hl not less 
than ninety (90) days, nor more than one (1) year, in the discretion 



oi the judtre presiding at the trial of tlio cause. All ()tyeiis(^s chargL'd 
for inisdeineanors as hereinbefore provided shall be tried and deter- 
mined under tlie ueneral laws of this state ap{)lical)le to the trial of 
criiiiinal actions in like causes. 

Sec. 5. The state auditor shall take [)roper in-oceedin«rs. uiub-r 
existinf]^ laws, relative to the ai)praisal and sale of school lands, to 
cause the transfer of the school lands in said park for jiark })urposes. 
and at the sale thereof the same shall be bid in by the state for such 
I)ark purposes. 

Sec. 6. The governor shall appoint a qualified resident of this 
state a commissioner, who shall file with the state auditor his oath to 
support the constitution of this state and to conscientiously j)ei'forni 
the duties of his office. 

It shall be the duty of the commissioner to take all reasonable 
steps to procure for the state from landed property holders, railroad 
companies, corporations or individuals owning lands within the limits 
of said park, concessions to the state for park purposes by contract oi- 
deed, subject to the approval of the governor. In case any tract or 
parcel or parcels of land within the limits of said park caiuiot be sat- 
isfactorily secured, the governor ma}' direct the said commissioner to 
institute, for and on behalf of the state, proceedings in condemnation, 
as now j)rovided by law. for condemning and converting pi'ivate prop- 
erty within this state to public use. In case of any proceedings in con- 
denmation, the said commissioner, under the direction of the attorney 
general, may appear for the state in prosecuting to a final determination 
all causes and actions thereunder. 

Whenever any proceedings in condemnation are had and taken foi- 
the condemnation and conversion of any of said lands, all of the i)ro- 
visions of an act ap})roved .March nine (9), eighteen hundred and sev- 
enty-four (1874), entitled ''An act to provide for obtaining title to 
lands by the state of ^linnesota for the use of the stat(\" and all amend- 
ments thereto, shall be applicable in all pi-oceedings foi* the e(uidem- 
nation herein j.rovided for. 

Sec. 7. The connnissioner herein provided for shall receive a 
compensation of five ( 5) dollars })er day for the time he is actually em- 
p]oy(^d and Ids reasonable traveling expenses necessarily incurred, a 
schedule of which time aiul i^xpense he siiall make und«M- oath and tile 
with the state auditor: Provided, that th(» number of days for which 
compensation shall be allowed shall iiot exceed sixty (()(M. 

Sec. 8. The commissiotuM' shall p?-epare a detailed chart of said 
park, and shall make ami file a )'<»port to the govei-noi* of all action 



taken by liim, which sliall bo transmitted to the next session of the 

See. 9. The said eoiiunissioner shall have i)()wri' to adniinistci- 
oaths and take aeknowled*j:iiients. and to serve all iK'cessary notices 
in the performance of his (hities as a commissioner : and he shall ex- 
amine the recoi-ds in the offices of the registers of deeds for the counties 
of Becker, Hubbard, Cass and Beltrami in perfectinfr title to the state 
for said lands, and the i-eiristers of deeds for said counties are hereby 
required to permit of the examination of titles to any of said lands, 
without charge to the state. 

Sec. 10. This act shall take effect and be in ffu-ce from and after 
its passage. 

Approved Api'il 20, 1891. 

Statutes of the United States of America, 1891-92. Fifty-second 

Chapter 362. An act to grant certain public lands to the State 
of ^linnesota for per[)etual use as a public park. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Kej^resentatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, that all undisposed 
lands of the United States, situated in the following subdivisions ac- 
cording to the public surveys thereof, to-wit: Section six of township 
one liundred and forty-two: sections six, seven, eighteen, nineteen, 
thirty and thirty-one. of township one hundred and forty-three, ail in 
range thirty-five: sections one, two, three and four, of township one 
hundred and forty-two, and sections one, two, three, four, nine, ten, 
eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen,' fifteen, sixteen, twenty-one, twenty- 
two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, 
twenty-eight, thirty-three, thirty-four, tliirty-live, and thirty-six, of 
township one hundred and forty-three, all in range thirty-six, situ- 
ated in the disti-ict of lands subject to sale at St. Cloud and Crookston, 
^linnesota, is hereby forever granted to the State of ^linnesota, to be 
I^erpetually used by said state as and for a public state park: provided, 
that the land hereby gi-anted shall revert to the United States, together 
with all improvements thei-eon, if at any time it shall cease to be ex- 
clusively used for a i)ublic state i)ark, or if the state shall not pass a 
law or laws to protect the tind)er thei'eon. 

Sec. 2. That this act shall not in any manner \^ hatsoevcr interfere 
witli. supersede, modify, suspend, or annul the vested I'ights of any per- 



soil, ooini)aiiy or corporation in respect to any of said lands, existinir 
nt the date of the passage of this act. 
Approved Aiiij. 3. 189*2. 

P>e it enacted hy the Legishitnre of the State of ^[innesota : 

Section 1. The state of [Minnesota hereby accepts the ^rrant of 
lands, together the conditions thereof, made to it by an act of the 
congress of the United States, approved August third, one thousand 
eight hundred and ninety-two, entitled "An act to grant certain public 
lands to the state of Minnesc^a for perpetual use as a public park," 
and assents to the purpose of said grant, as in said act set forth. 

Sec. 2, All persons, companies and corporations are, by this act, 
proliibited from cutting, destroying, mutilating or injuring any timber, 
tree, or evergreen standing or growing upon any of the lands within 
the limits of the Itasca state park, granted to the state of [Minnesota 
by the congress of the United States, as set forth in the first section of 
this act. Any pei'son who shall wilfully cut, destroy, mutilate or in- 
jure, or who shall cause to be cut, destroyed, nnitilated or injured, any 
timber, tree or evergreen standing or growing upon any of the lands 
aforesaid within the limits of said park, shall bo guilty of a misde- 
meanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined for the first oflVnse 
tifty dollars, for the second otV(Misc two hundred dollars, and for tho 
tbii'd or fui-ther ofl'cnscs he shall be Hned the sum of live hundred dol- 
lars and imprisonment not less than ninety days or more than one yeai' 
lu the county jail. All offenses chai'ged for misdemeanors as herein- 
bi^fore provided shall be tried and det(M*mined und(M- tlie ireneral laAvs 
<~'f this state apj>iii'ablc lo the ti'ial of ci-iminal actions. 

Sec. 8. The secretary of state shall tile cei-tified copies of this act, 



under seal, witli the seeretary of the interior and the commissionor of 
the general land office at the city of Wasliinirton. 

Sec. 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after 
its passa^^e. 

Approved April 19, 1893. 

Be it enacted by the Legishiture of the State of Alinnesota : 

That chapter 56, General Laws of 1891, be amended as follows: 
[Sections 1, 2 and 3 are the same as the original law.] 
Sec. 4. Any person who shall wilfnlly cut, destroy or mutilate, or 
who shall cause to be wilfully cut, destroyed or mutilated, any tree, 
shrub, timber, evergreen, or plants of any kind, or who shall kill, cause 
to be killed, or pursue with intent to kill, any moose, bear, deer, fox, 
otter, porcupine, mink, or other wild aninu^l in said park, or who shall 
in any other manner without the consent of the person in charge, and 
then only with a hook aiul line held in the hand, take any fish from the 
waters of said park, or who shall in any manner whatsoever take or 
catch any fish in the waters of said park for the markets of the state, 
or who shall in any manner whatsoever raise or cause to be raised, 
lower or cause to be loAvered any of the lakes or streams within said 
park, or the waters therein: ov who shall set, or cause to be set, any 
fire therein; or who shall in any manner whatsoever at any time or 
place within said ])ark, wilfully hunt and cause to be discharged any 
firearms at any animal, bird, fowl, or fish, shall be guilty of a misde- 
meanor, and uj)on conviction thereof shall be fined for the first oli'ense 
fifty dollars (.^50), for the second olfense two hundred dollars (.i?200), 
and for the third or further offenses he shall be fined and imprisoned 
in the county jail not less than ninety days, nor more thnn one year: 
and the j)i-ovisions of this section shall a]>ply to all manner of inn-sons, 
including Indians. All offenses charged for misdemiNinors, as herein- 
before provided, shall be tried and determined under the (leneral 
Laws of this state a])})lieable to the trial of ci-iminal aclicms in likr 
causes; and whenever the commissioner or other person shall makt^ 

ITASCA statp: park. 


rciiiplaint ill wi-iting to the distr'iot court, or ;i jiidirc tliei*eof, settiiiir 
forth tlmt any snid ott'ciisos liave been conimittod, or arc about to be 
roiiiinitted wliereby any of the timber of said park lias been taken, or 
is a))out to ])e destroyed in any manner, it shall be the duty of the dis- 
trict jud<re to ])romptly and without dehiy enjoin an order of injunc- 
tion a.irainst all trespassers who in any manner whatsoever destroy or 
injure, or who are about to destroy or injure any of the tindjcr, trees, 
evergreens or shrubs within said park, belonging to or under the con- 
trol of the state. 

Sec. 5. The state auditor shall take proper proceediuLrs. under 
existing laws, relative to the ai)[)raisal and sale of school lands, to cause 
the transfer of the school lands in said {)ark for park purposes, and at 
(he sale thereof the same shall be bid in by the state for such park 

Sec. 6. The governor shall appoint a qualified resident of this 
state as commissioner, who shall hold his office until removed by the 
governor. The said connnissioner shall file with the state auditor his 
oath to support the constitution of the state, and to conscientiously 
perform the duties of his office. The commissioner shall reside within 
tlie limits of the park. The governor is hereby authorized to cause to 
l»o erected suitable buildings for the acconnnodation of the park com- 
missioner, at a cost not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). The 
park commissioner is hereby authorized to utilize a tract of land for 
ngricultui'al purposes not exceeding twenty (20) acres in area, with 
the privilege of keeping not to exceed ten (10) head of stock, and tlie 
right to use for fuel pui'poses any dead or down timber, and a further 
right to entertain any visitors in said park at a schedule of charges to 
he approved by the governor. 

It shall be the duty of the [^ark commissioner, under the direction 
of the governor, to carefully guai-d and protect tho fish, game and for- 
ests of said park, and to ])revent the destruction oi- mutilation of any 
of its tind)er, and to preserve the park in its natural condition, and to 
warn all persons against setting fires in the park. Said commissioner 
^hall annually on or before the first day of December of each year 
i*eport to the governor the condition of the park, amount of fines col- 
li'cted, and number of suits instituted for violation of the pai-k law. 
together with such other information as shall be deiMiied of public in- 
terest, or i-equired by the governor. 

Sec. 7. The attoi-ney general is Inu't^by authorized, when i-e- 
Muestod by the governor, to take all reasonable steps to pi'oeui'e fi-oiii 
landed ])roperty owners, i-ailroad companies, corporations, or individ- 



uals owning land within tlif limits ot* snid jiai-k'. conct'ssioiis to tlu- stat.- 
for park pui'posos by contract oi* dfcd. subject to the approval of tin* 
governor. In case any tract or pared or parcels of land within tin- 
limits of said park cannot he sntisl'nctorily secui-ed, the <rovernor ni;iy 
direct the attorney gt^ieral to institute for a!id on Ix-half of the state, 
proceedings in condemnation, as now pi-ovided hy law, for condemninL'' 
and converting ])rivate property within the Hunts of the state to puhli'- 
use. Whenever any proceedings in cojidemnat ion ;ire had and taken 
for the condenniation and conversion of any of said lands, all of the 
provisions of an act ap{)i-oved March 9th, eighteen liundred and sev- 
enty-four (1874), entitled "An act to provide for obtaining title to 
lands by the State of [Minnesota for the use of the state,'' and all 
amendments tliereto, slinll be a})plicable in all proceedings for the con- 
denniation herein ])rovided for. 

Sec, 8. The compensation of said commissioner shall be six hun- 
dred dollars ($600) i)er annum, which is hereby appropriated annu- 
ally out of the state treasury, out of any moneys not otherwise appro- 
priated, for the purpose of paying such commissioner. The further 
sum of one thousand dollars (.i^l,00()), or so much thei-eof as nuiy be 
necessary, is hereby aj)i)ropriated for the purpose of ei-ecting suitable 
buildings for the acconnnodation of the park comnnssioner. 

Sec. 9. This act shall take effect and l)e in force from and after 
its passage. 

•Approved April 25, 1895. 

AVhereas, with a view to preserve in its natural bcautx' foi- the 
benefit of this and future generatioiis the source of the Mississippi 
river and a ti'act of timbered land c(udaining thirty-live (or)» square 
miles surrouiuling the sauu\ the legislature of this state in tht^ yc^ar 
(1891) established Itasca Park: :ind 

Whei'eas, upon repi-t^serdation that this st;ite \v(udil maintain ui- 
violate for pai-k pui'poses ail the land '\\ithin the limits of said ]^a?-k: 
the government of the Cnited Stat»»s, in the yo;\v eighttM^i hundrtHl and 
ninety-two (1892) generously grjiided to the State of Minnesota all that 
it [lossessed therein, comj)rising about one-half the (uitire area: and 
Whei-eas, dui-ing all the time since elapsed, no adequate measur'cs 



have been taken to ac(iiiire the lands owned by piiate parties within 
the limits of said park, there still beinjj: more than eight thonsand 
(8,000) acres over which the state has no control; and 

Whereas, there is constant and increasing danger that th»'se lands, 
which are intricately intermingled with the rest, will be cut over by 
lumbermen and denuded of their natural growth of forest, thus mar- 
ring the beauty of the whole and inviting fires that would destroy every 
preen thing and entirely defeat the objects for which said park was 
ct;tablished ; therefore 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of ^linnesota : 

Section 1. That the sum of twenty thousand (20,000) dollars, or 
BO much thereof as may be found necessary, be and the same is hereby 
appropriated, out of any moneys in the state treasury not otherwise 
appropriated, for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of 
section seven (7) of chapter one hundred and six 006) of the Gen- 
eral Laws of eighteen hundred and ninety-live (1895), and to pay for 
any and all lands, other than school lands, that may be acquired by 
purchase or condemnation, according to the provisions of said chapter, 
and to pay all expenses connected with such purchase and condemna- 

Of the foregoing appropriation ten thousand (10,000) dollars 
shall be available for the fiscal year ending July thirty-first (31st), 
eighteen hundred and ninety-nine (1899), and ten thousand dollars 
(10,000) for the fiscal [year] ending July thirty-first (31st), nineteen 
hundred (1900). 

Sec. 2. As soon as any moneys shall become available for carry- 
ing out the provisions of said section seven (7) of chapter one hundred 
and six (106) of the General Laws of eighteen hundred and ninety- 
five (1895), the governor shall direct the attorney general to enter up- 
on and prosecute proceedings for the purchase and condemnation of 
such lands as are not already owned by the state within the limits of 
said park as the same were established by chapter fifty-six (56) of the 
General Laws of eighteen hundi-ed and ninety-one (1891), as amended 
by chapter one hundred and six (106) of the General Laws of eighteen 
hundred and ninety-five (1895) ; and the attorney general shall there- 
upon commence such proceedings and prosecute the same with all 
reasonable diligence. 

He shall first endeavor to ac(juire such parcels as shall seem to him 
to be in most imminent danger of being denuded of timber. 

Sec. 3. In case the appiM^priation herein made in section two (2) 
for the purchase and condemnation of land shall IxH'ome exhausted, or 



shall, in Avhole or in ])ai't, be unavaila])le when needed, and it sliall 
traaispire that the timber is liable to be cut from any land within the 
limits of said park, tlie attorney general shall endeavor to secure from 
the owner of such hind an option to purchase the same, for a term not 
exceeding two years, wliich shall contain an agreement that the timber 
thereon shall remain undisturbed during said term. lie may pay for 
said option, if secured, a sum not exceeding four per centum per 
annum of such term upon the value of said [land] as the same may be 
estimated by him. 

Sec. 4. The sum of one thousand (1,000) dollars, or so much 
thereof as may be found necessary, is hereby appropriated for the pur- 
pose of carrying out the i)rovisions of the preceding section. 

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after 
its passage. 

Approved xVpril 20th, 1899. 


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of ^Minnesota : 

Section 1. The Itasca State Park is hereby extended so as to 
fully and completely encompass and include the southwest fractional 
quarter of section thirty-five, township one hundred and forty-four, 
range thirty-six, containing 152.80 acres, which is situated at the outlet 
of Itasca Lake, ^linnesota, and said tract of land is dechired to be 
park proi>erty subject to the operation of all existing laws and con- 
demnation proceedings. 

Sec. 2. This act sliall take effect and be in force from and after 
its passage. ' . ' 

Approved March 14, 1901. 


Be it enacted l)y the Legislature of the State of Minnesota: 

Section 1. Acceptance by the state is hereby declared for all and 
singular the erected stationary platforms constructed at Itasca State 



Park by the ^lississippi River Commission diirinjj: the year A. D. 1900, 
nnd all which were donated by said commission or its field party and 
delivered to the Itasca Park Commissioner for the use of the state for 
permanent park purposes, and it is hereby declared that all said plat- 
forms are state property for i)ark purposes. 

Sec. 2. Whoever injures, destroys, damages or attempts to in- 
jure, destroy or damage any of said erected stationary platforms shall 
be held liable to all the penalties provided by law for the preservation 
and protection of state property, and all prosecutions under this act 
shall be in the name of the state under the General Laws thereof, in 
cither criminal or civil prosecutions. 

Sec. 3. It is hereby made the duty of the Park Connnissioner for 
said Itasca State Park to preserve and protect all said platforms from 
fire, windstorms, trespass or damage of any kind, and said Commissioner 
shall forthwith erect a stone foundation, convenient steps, galvanized 
iron rope guy lines and anchors at the most elevated of said platforms, 
which was erected at and stands near the north line of section thirty- 
six (36), township one himdred and forty-three (143), range thirty- 
six (36), in said Itasca State Park, and it is hereby made the duty of 
said Park Commissioner to paint each of said platforms with pure 
white lead, two full coats. 

Sec. 4. To preserve, protect, anchor and paint said platforins 
as provided in the preceding section, there is hereby appropriated out 
of any moneys in the state treasury not otherwise appropriated, the 
sum of two hundred and eighty dollars, or so much thereof as may be 
necessary, Avhich shall be expended under direction of the governor of 
the state. 

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its pas- 
sage. ' • 
Approved April 10, 1901. 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of ^Minnesota : 

Section 1. Any person who shall kill, cause to be killed, or pursue 
with intent to kill or hunt any moose, bear, deer, fox, otter, mink, 
muskrat, porcupine, or other animal, or any duck, wild goose, crane, 
prairie chicken, grouse, i)heasant, partridge, quail, dove, pigeon, or 
bird of any kind, or who shall in any manner whatsoever, except with 



a hook and line lield in tlio hand, take, kill, catch or capture any bass, 
pike, trout, porch or other fish within the outer limits of any territory 
set apart, used or designated or authorized by hwv to be set apart or 
purchased for a i)uhlic state park, within this state or within 3,0()0 
feet of the outward boundary lines or limits, fixed by law. of any state 
park, or who shall in any manner whatso(^ver hunt with lirearms, or 
have in their possession loaded or charfrod firearms at any point 
within 3,000 feet of the outward limits of, or proposed outward bound- 
ary line or limits of any such state park within this state, shall be 
guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished 
by a fine for the first offense of fifty dollars, for the second offense two 
hundred dollars, and for tlie third or further offense he shall be fined 
and imprisoned in the county .jail not less than ninety days, nor more 
than one year, and the provisions of this section shall ap])ly to all 
manner of persons, including- Indians; but this law shall not be held to 
supersede, modify or amend any law or ordinance which ])rovides for 
the regulation of any public park within the limits of any incori)orated 
city or village within this state. 

Sec. 2. All offenses provided for in section one of this act shall 
be tried and determined under the General Laws of this state ap- 
plicable to the trial of criminal actions in like causes. 

Sec. 3. Any county attorney, whose official duty it is to prosecute 
offenders Avho are charged with violating the ])rovisions of this act. 
M'ho neglects or refuses to prosecute such offenders to a final judg- 
ment, or who advises, appears for, or in any way defends, aids or 
counsels persons charged with offenses under this act, shall be im- 
mediately removed from office by the governor of this state. 

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its pas- 
sage. ' ■ 

Approved April 11, 1901. 

303, OEXERAL LAWS OF 1899. 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota : 

Section 1. To facilitate and completely accomplish the condein- 

nation and convei'sion of lands nnd parcels of real ])roperty situated at 

Itasca State Park, for permanent j^ark purposes, by the Attorney Gen- 



eral of this stato, as directed and [)rovid<'d by c'haj)ter 30.'^, General 
Laws of 1899, ai)j)roved April 20th, 1899. there is hereby annually ap- 
propriated tlie sum of live thousand dollars out of any money in the 
state treasury not otherwise api)ropriated, to be expended by the 
Attorney fjeneral in accordance with the provisions of said chapter 303, 
Oeneral Laws of 1899, and when all said lands shall liave been con- 
demned and converted to j)ark pur])()ses, the provisions of this act 
shall cease and determine, and all unexpended })alances shall thn-e- 
after be covered into the state treasury. 

Sec. 2. This act shall take eiiect and be in force from and after 
its passage. 

Approved April 13, 1901. 


Whereas, certain down timber situated upon lands owned by the 
state in Itasca Pai-k have been st)ld by the state auditor, aetin^r as state 
land commissioner, by and with the approval of the governor and at- 
torney general: now, therefore. 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of ^linnesota : 

Section 1. That the proceeds of the sale made by officers of the 
state of certain down timber situated upon state lands in Itasca Park, 
shall be credited upon the books of the state treasurer and state auditor 
to the Itasca State Park fund. 

The amount of money so received may be expended under the 
direction of the governor and attorney general in the construction of 
a state house upon the shoi*e of Itasca lake in said \^ark, and in the 
making of other incidental and necessary iniprovenu'nts. 

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its 

Approved March G, 1902. 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of ^Minnesota : 

Section 1. The west half ( w.O of the west half (w.}) of the west 
half (w^) of sections twenty (20\ twenty-nine (29) aiul thirty-two 
(32), of township one hundred forty-three (143), north of range 



thirty-five (35) west, situated in Hubbard county in tlie State of 
Minnesota, is hereby added to and made a part of Itasca State l*ark. 
Said tracts of land are liereby declared to be ])ark property and sui)- 
jeet to the operation of all existing: laws applicable to said park. 

Sec. 2. This act shall take etl'ect and be in force ivoni and after 
its passaf^e. 

Approved April 14, 1903. 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of ^linnesota : 

Section 1. The hauling or moving of any logs or timber over or 
upon lands, the property of the State of ^Minnesota, or whicli have 
been conditionally or otherwise granted to said state by the govern- 
ment of the United States situated within the outer limits of Itasca 
State Park, or the placing of any logs or timber in Elk Lake, Lake 
Itasca, or any stream running into or out of either of such lakes, situ- 
ated within the outer limits of said park, without first procuring a 
license therefor signed by the governor, the state auditor, and the presi- 
dent of the ^linnesota State Historical Society, is hereby made a 
felony; and the policy of the State of ^Minnesota to preserve for the 
benefit of this and future generations, Itasca State Park surrounding 
the ultinuite source of the ^Mississippi river in a state of nature (except 
iiS the same may have heretofore in isolated portions been disturbed), 
is liereby reaffirmed. 

Sec. 2. Any person violating the i)rovisions of section one [l) of 
this act, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison not less 
than three (3) months or over one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than 
one thousand ($1,000) or over live thousand ($5,000) dollars, or both 
in the discretion of the court. 

Sec. 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after 
its passage. 

Approved April IS, 1903. 


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota : 

Section 1. That the sum of live thousand dollars ($5,000) is 



Itcroby appropriated out of any money in the state treasury not otlier- 
wise appropriated, for the jmrpose of building a state house in Itasca 
State Park, for the accommodation of the park connuissioners and 

Said amount of money may l)e expended under the direction of tlie 
^'overuor and attorney general in the construction of a state house and 
necessary appurtenances, in the purchase of furnisliings therefor and 
the improving of tlie grounds, upon the shore of Itasca Lake in said 
park, upon a site lieretofore selected by the attorney general. 

Said expenditures shall be audited by the state auditor and paid 
out upon vouchers duly approved by the governor and attorney gen- 

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after 
its passage. 

Approved April 21, 1903. 





The precedirifr republished ];nvs demonstrate the legal status of 
Itasca State Park, but they are silent concerning most of the detail 
labor which resulted in the passage of those enactments, and a remark- 
able history of contentions, objections and obstructions which have 
beeu encountered for many years as menaces to the stability, perma- 
nency and value of a magnificent pu])]ic resort at a beautifully wooded 
and very historic Ultimate Basin. 

It is here proposed to record a substantial chronologic narrative 
of events which led up to and followed the passage of the law wliich 
created a natural park at Itasca Lake. 

No one will ever know the exact date when the first footprint of 
man was placed on the shores of the lakes at Itasca Park. 

Dakota Indians were resident there for a long period of time, 
fishing, hunting and gathering Avild rice and native fruits, making and 
using clay vessels, flint knives and arrowpoints. After the successful 
Ojibway warfare which was inaugurated at ^lille Lac about 1750, all 
the Dakota villagers retired from Leech, Cass, Xaiwa, Tascodiac, 
Bemidji and Itasca lakes. The Ojibway people were persistent in fol- 
lowing up the trails and canoe routes they had captured from the 
Dakotas. One of those routes led the Ojibways to Itasca Lake, where 
they had hunted and planted small fields nearly fifty years before 
Morrison's time. They held possession of the locality until their title 
was extinguished by the treaty of February 22, 1855, but they still con- 
tinue their occasional visits to the region where they traced the foot- 
prints of their predecessors at a village site, trails, mound group and 
canoe landings at the north end of Itasca Lake as laid down on the 
colored chart in this volume. 

After Edwin Hall had completed the government survey of 
Township l-l-S, Range 36, Surveyor General James II. Baker named 
Elk Lake to correspond with the original Ojibway name by which 
Itasca Lake had been known, placing the designation on the official 
plat, the Sioux name having been lost to history. 

After Julius Chambers, Edwin S. Hall, Oscar E. Garrison, A. 11. 
Seigfried and Kev. J. A. (Jilfillan had separately visited Elk Lake and 
the Itasca Basin, publishing various reports of their several voyages 



of exploration, an insi^rnificant and disreputable pla< nani»Kl 
Glazier camped on Schoolcraft Island, July 21st, 1881, in a starving? 
condition, hastily visitinc^ Chambers Creek and Klk Lake, as laid down 
on the original chart of Julius Chambers in 1872, spendinfr perhaps 
three hours in securing a hasty glance at those waters. That obscure 
circumstance was clandestinely heralded to th(^ Avorld at large as the 
only true, original and genuine discovery of the source of the ]\Iissis- 
sippi. Time has justly obliterated any substantial recognition of delib- 
erate fraud in the geography of the Itasca Basin and the farce has 
become scarcely more than the subject of sneering jokes unworthy to 
be the theme of any further notice. 

In 1883 a little band of land seekers -under the leadership of Peter 
Turnbull joined together at Park Rapids, Minn., then a frontier town, 
for the purpose of opening a wagon road to Itasca Lake. They fol- 
lowed the old Hall road of 1875 to Stony Ridge, where the new road 
was opened in zigzag form to the Ii-on Corner and Deming, Mary and 
Itasca lakes. The early travelers over that hilly and crooked trail will 
ever remember the tedious hardships experienced on a new wagon road 
through a trackless forest when nightfall often made progress uncer- 
tain, before Itasca Lake could be reached. 

From 1883 to 1886, squatters on pine land claims for active lumber- 
men became a menace to the future park. Not a single one of those 
settlers made any permanent homes and usually before their proofs 
were offered at the land office the ownership had been pledged to land 
monopolists who soon became possessed of every available tract of 
dense pine timber in the Itasca Basin. Not one of those so-called set- 
tlers can now be found on the land they entered. Scrip entries, sol- 
diers' additional homestead claims and the indemnity grant to the 
Northern Pacific Railroad finally placed all the pine lands at Itasca 
Lake in control of lumbermen, whose avaricious denudation of ]\linne- 
sota forests has precipitated widespread decay and destruction by for- 
est fires, closing of rivers and lakes by log booms, depletion of tlie 
water supply and wholesale destruction of fish and game, by an over- 
f>owerful, ever destroying, innumerable organization of lunnan beings 
wlio know no better than by striving to detenu ine by whom and liow 



soon the last tree may be eiit, to throw a poriiianent sliadow of decay 
across nature's contribution to human ri^rhts and happiuoss in one of 
the most natural and l)eautiful park re^rions in existonc(\ They are 
seldom prosecuted for infractions of the law, because they are power- 
ful financial and political actors in the drama of life, feared and catered 
to by business participants and hundi-eds of men in official positions. 

The governor, judge or prosecuting officicr who make the greatest 
concessions to lumbermen usually receive the highest number of tln'ir 
votes at the next election. When the pine lands at Itasca Lake had 
fallen into the hands of favored lumbermen, the squatters all disap- 
peared after realizing seventy-five cents ])er thousand of timber on low 
estimates of standing pine, five or six hundred dollars being an average 
price for 160 acres. Then the timber cruiser was about the only indi- 
vidual who could be heard of as an occasional visitor at the headwaters 
of the ^lississippi. One expert explorer did good work there in 188G, 
knowii as the Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor & Co. expedition under charge 
of iMr. Hopewell Clarke who, with the aid of two assistants, made a 
chart of the source of the ^Mississippi which left Hernando de Soto and 
Morrison lakes detached from Itasca Basin, an erroneous conclusion 
which left out the most interesting study known to exist there at an 
Ultimate Reservoir at the crest of the [Morainic ridges which semi-cir- 
cularly form the basin. Those deep Avater lakes are each more than 
100 feet higher in elevation than is Itasca Lake, indicating a great 
pressure of natural seepage which gives birth to thousands of springs 
down the inclined inner flank of the ^Moraine between the sandy 
beaches of Hernando de Soto Lake and the lower waters at the pit of 
Itasca Basin. 

October 19th, 188S, the present author with two companions. John 
Leyendecker and AVilliam A.. Avery, for the first time traversed the 
region to the north arm of Itasca Lake, camping in an abandoned claim 
shanty. In a few days it was found that Nicollet's Infant ^Fississippi 
was the gi-eater stream flowinu into Itasca Lake, whereupon ^Ir. Brow- 
er, of this party of visitors, connnenced and concluded a minute explo- 
ration of Klk Lake and its surroundinirs, Xicollet Lakes, Demaray, 
Howard, Boutwell and Mary creeks and the ^lississippi springs, fully 



ascertaining that Elk Lake was not tlie true source. A map and 
j)i-inted descri])tion, erroneous in some of tlie nnlvnown details concern- 
ing: hydrograj^hic facts, were published and called to the attention of 
(he ^riunesota Historical Society. 

That action was the first step which inauirurated the movement rt;- 
sulting in the final establislnnent of Itasca State Park. 

If the Brewer party of exploi-ei-s had failed in their atteni])t in 
1888, all subsequent proceedings thereunder would have been forcvei- 
unknown and unaccomplished. 

The interest which proceeded from the fii-st publication i.ssued by 
the present author, created a stir among the friends of the plagiarist 
who had been inisisting that three hours spent at Elk Lake in 1881, 
and a stolen page of Schoolcraft's narrative of 1834 were sufficient to 
locate the source of the Mississippi whether it existed as they claimed 
or otherwise. 

Thereupon the ^linnesota Historical Society caused to be issued 
the following commission for a detailed official survey of Itasca Basin : 

St. Paul, Minnesota, Feb. 12th, 1889. 
To J. Y. Brower, Esq., St. Paul, :\Iinn. 

Sir :— Reposing especial confidence in your ability, integrity and 
good judgment, the Minnesota Historical Society together with other 
similar Societies, who may unite with us for this object, does hereby 
appoint and commission you to make a careful and scientific survey of 
Lake Itasca and its surroundings, with the view of determining by a 
thorough examination of the spot and of-all its physical features, und^'^r 
nil circumstances, what is the true and actual source of the ^Mississippi 

We therefore request you to select such a corps of assistants as you 
may need to properly carry on such survey and proceed to Lake Itasca, 
l)rior to the opening of spring, to take the necessary observations with 
the above object. 

On the completiori of your survey, you will please nuike a report to 
us of the result of your investigations. 

On behalf of the Minnesota Historical Society. 

HEXRY H. SIBLEY. President. 
(Seal) J. FLETCHER AVILLIA:\rS, Secretary. 



That commission was the second step taken resulting' in the estah- 
lishment of the state park at It;isca Lnke. 

There was an agreement that tlie recipient of that commission 
should subscribe his services as a donation and it was further pro- 
posed that all cash expenses should be met by a number of members of 
the historical society as subscribers headed l)y ^Iv. AVilliams, the secre- 
tary. His proposal for subscribing membership was an absolute fail- 
ure and the commissioner of the society was obliged to not only donat^^ 
his own services, but was forced by circumstances over which he hnd 
no control to pay nearly the whole cash expense of n pul)lic survey 
from his own private means. The detailed survey of Itasca Basin for 
the historical society was proceeded with the first of ^larch. 1889. ^Ir. 
Alfred J. Hill offered his assistance as a literary student at the library 
at St. Paul, ^linn., and the entire labor of the surve\' with a party of 
thirteen persons was completed under embarrassing financial distress, 
as it was not at any time presumed that one individual should pay all 
the cost ; in fact it was a public work organized as a movement to pi-o- 
tect the geography and nomenclature of the State of ^Minnesota against 
the designs of a mercenary charlatan. 

The entire work was assumed by two individuals, the commissioner 
of the society and his assistant, Alfred J. Hill. 

The completion of the survey at Itasca Lake created a chart which 
has withstood the test of technical scrutiny ])y the scientific scholars of 
two continents. The English reproduction was incorporated into the 
records of the Manchester Geographical Society and the French issue 
by Professor E. Levassuer was introduced into the public school sys- 
tem of the Fi-ench Rei)ublic Avith a closing debate in bulletin form, con- 
vincing to all the nations of the world that Hernando de Soto and ^l<>r- 
rison lakes formed an ritinmte Reservoir with other smaller l)odi(\s of 
water creating natural springs which give bii-th to the Mississijipi River 
wliere it is a foot Avide and an inch in depth, ending for all time an 
adequate conclusion accei)table aiul accepted by universal adojUion. 

The comj)lete histoi-y of the Hrower surv(\v of the Itasca Basin and 
source of the Mississippi foi'ius the published A%)liime VII. Minnesota 
Historical Society Collections. 

The Report was made at the Febr-uai-y, 18!10, meeting of the society 



following which three years were occupied in perfecting the historical 
and geographical studies involved, covering the entire time from the 
Columbian Period to the final survey. There is no good reason for 
an}' new preparation for the second edition of that volume as it is con- 
servatively and permanently standard, inviting every test as to the 
facts stated therein. 

While the 1SS9 survey at Itasca Lake was in process of completion, 
an important circumstance occurred, influential for succeeding years, 
when the late AVilliam ^Ic^Mullen became a permanent settler on a 
homestead at the east shore of the North Arm of that lake, where he 
built a log cabin which became the resort of many hundreds of travel- 
ers, professional tourists, explorers, land seekers and hunters, until the 
Mc]\rullen hospitality in his cabin Avas known in many states and East- 
ern cities as the only home on the shore of the lake where the weary 
traveler was ever welcome. 

While the Brower survey was under full headway at Itasca Lake, 
his assistant, Mr. Alfred J. Hill, wrote and published at St. Paul, :\Iinn., 
the following first written proposal for a state park : 

Editor Dispatch : The idea for a state park located on the ^lissis- 
sippi river between Fort Snelling and ^linneapolis does not seem to 
meet with universal favor, many people, doubtless, thinking such a 
position to be more in the interest of certain municipalities than that 
of the state at large. Why cannot we, however, have a real wild park, 
one far from the hum and bustle of large cities, like the National Park 
of the Yellowstone, and that once proposed, I believe, for the Adiron- 
dack region in New York ? To answer my own question, we may have 
such a park if the legislature will only take the proper steps toward 
it, by memorializing congress to grant all unentered lands in a certain 
region and by providing for the condemnation of the rest there, the 
whole to constitute a state park. 

The region I refer to is the immediate basin of Lake Itasca and the 
valley of the ^lississippi below it for several miles including the rapids 
and the falls called Kakabikons, constituting in all about 100 s(inare 
ujiles in area. Such a tract would combine picturescjue sronery, with 
interesting geographical and historical associations, and the fact of its 



Distinguished as proprietor of the McMullen Ranch where thousands of 
Travelers, Tourists, Sportsmen, Cruisers. Ex])lorers and Seirntists were 
welcomed and accommodated. Shot October 30, 1898. by a person named 
Rust who was unsuccessfully prosecuted on a cliarpe of murder. 



containing the very frequently discovered sources of the Mississippi 
itself should make the park a kind of <.'oal for the sentimental pilgrim. 
• * * A. 

The proposal for a state park remained dormant until 1890, when 
active steps were taken to that end as shown by the records as follows : 


A strong effort is being made in the State of New York to secure 
legislative protection for the forests at the head waters of the Hudson. 
This is less with the idea of gaining a splendid natural park for the 
public than it is to prevent the noble stream from dwindling into an in- 
significant watercourse too low for navigation at one season and a 
source of danger from freshet at another. The people have made a 
park of the district about Niagara Falls. The State Forestry Associa- 
tion is now taking steps to secure the immunity of the Adirondaeks 
from the attacks of lumbermen who threaten to reduce that beautiful 
country in a few years to a mere bleak expanse of barren hills. There 
is in this movement, the necessity for which is admitted by every well- 
informed person, a warning and a lesson for the people of ^[innesota. 
The importance of the Hudson to the interests of New York State or 
City is as nothing compared to the importance of the ^Iississi])pi to the 
State of ^Minnesota and the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. From 
the water power which it furnishes have arisen the mighty industries 
that make Minneapolis a center of activity. By it river steamers have 
free access to the head of navigation at St. Paul. * * * 

No physical fact is better established than that the regular dis- 
charge of a large stream is dependent upon the husbanding of rainfall 
and the preservation of the reservoir formed by nature at its sources. 
'J'he old world furnishes plenty of instances, and not a few, where the 
cutting away of forests at or near a river's source have made it wholly 
iLseless for manufacturing or commercial i)Ui'poses, and turned larire 
ti-aets of country along its course into a practical desert. * * * 

This country has been saved heretofore by its distance from scttb'- 
ment and civilization, and by the existence of large Indian rcsei-vations. 
whose timber was safe from the invasion of lumbermen. But this 



primeval condition is about to <^'ive place to tlie activity and entcrpi-is.- 
of man * * * if the people of this state do not take measures to 
protect the ^lississippi's sources it will be but a short time before our 
splendid water power is crippled and the navifrability of the river at 
this point becomes no more than a tradition. The danger is easily 
averted. In the broad and shallow lakes, the ex])anslve forests and 
the labyrinth of lagoons that constitute the Upper Mississippi region 
there is ample protection for the river. The country is now practically 
valueless for agricultural purposes, and the whole supply of timber 
tliat it might furnish would not ofl'set the damage done in a single year 
by the injury that forest denudation would bring to the river and the 
industries dependent upon it. Vie need to establish a state reservation 
at the head waters of the ^Mississippi, to set aside all lands that may 
be necessary for the purpose and to procure title to as much of the re- 
cently ceded Indian territory as may be essential to the plan. A few 
years hence the cost of this will be increased manyfold, the restoration 
of forests Avill be a work requiring many years and the injury done 
meantime to all our industries will be simply irreparable. There is no 
subject of more importance than this to these cities, and through them 
to the entire state. Public opinion should be so formed and awakened 
that a reservation on the Upper ^Mississippi would be one of the first 
cares to engage the attention of the legislature at its next session. — J. 
A. Wheelock in Pioneer Press of Jan. 22, 1890. , 

Extract from the record of the proceedings of the Historical So- 
ciety, March 10, 1890: 

Correspondence read * * * from Emil Geist,''-calling atten- 
tion to the desirabilit}' of the state securing a reservation around the 
Itasca basin, and protecting the pernuinency of the sources of the Mis- 
sissippi by forest cultivation and ])reservation. Referred to the Com- 
mittee on General Business, and, on motion, Professor Winchell was 
added to that committee. 

Mr. Geist says he transmitted the article written by Mr. Wheelock. 
with the letter mentioned in these j)roceedings. The letter has not 
been preserved, apparently, and if preserved it is mislaid. He further 



snys the following is substantially the substance of the letter referred 

St. Paul. Minn.. Jan. 22, 1890. 

To Minnesota Historical Society. 

Gentlemen: Inclosed please find article as it appeared in the Pio- 
neer Press, entitled Preserve the Mississij^pi,'' which speaks for itself. 

Would it not be timely if the .Minnesota IIist<n-ical Society would 
"make history," for ^Minnesota l)y turnincr its attention to the pres- 
ervation of the forests at the head waters of the ;Mississippi river? 

Ver^' respectfully. 


Professor AVinchell. soon after he was designated as an additional 
member of the committee, prepared for his 1889 report a valuable rec- 
ommendation for this state park, and caused the same to be inserted in 
his eighteenth annual report, as follows: 

State Park. I wish to call the attention of the regents, and 
through their report the attention of the public and the legislature to 
the propriety of asking a reservation of land for a state park in some 
section in the northern part of the state. The geographic position of 
Minnesota is on that borderland which exhibits the transition of the 
forested area into the prairie. It hence preserves the faunal and floral 
characteristic of both, and within its territory nuist be studied by nat- 
uralists the mutual modifications and interchanges AVhich the near 
neighborhood and contact of difYerent physical features always imprint 
on the native vegetation and animal life found therein. By settlement 
and long habitation the natural conditions are destroyed and the nat- 
\n-al laws that could perhaps be discovered by an examination of them 
in their original state, are never known,. Hence, as long as the natural 
conditions exist the State of ^linnesota will be visited by students and 
collectors interested in natural science for the purpose of investigation, 
and this will bring Minnesota into prominent recognition in scientific 
literature and secondarily into scientific and economic research. It 
hence behooves the state to preserve, to such extent as may be found 
desirable and feasible, these natural and aboriginal conditions, and for 
this purpose there is no better method than to reserve from sale and 
settlement some considerable tract where they may not be destroyed. 



Again the state sliould have a hirge ])ublic park because of the 
healtliful resort that it would all'ord for those living in cities, and for 
those who, coming- from further sontli, seek in sunnner the invigoratiui? 
effects of northern latitudes. Tlie attractions of a multitude of lakes, 
rivers and rivulets of limpid and pure water, are confined in the United 
States, to the noi'thern tier, where the tumuli of the glacial epoch 
formed the depressions and natural reservoirs of gravel and sand, such 
as mark its moraines from ]\raine to ^Minnesota. In Dakota these lines 
of tumuli pass across the prairies northwestward to the line of Britisli 
America and do not return again sensibly witliin the United States. 
Hence it is within [Minnesota that exists the last opportunity to pre- 
serve the pristine conditions of that unique combination of physical 
and faunal relations which alike distinguishes them from all other nat- 
ural surface conditions in the United States, and has attracted to them 
always the venturesome, wandering explorer, the artist, the geologist, 
and the hardy frontier settler. 

This park should be located either in the region northeast of Lake 
Superior, inclosing some of the rock-bordered and rock-bottomed lakes 
that are a natural curiosity to every traveler, or in the area about the 
head waters of the ^lississippi. General J. II. Baker, when surveyor- 
general of [Minnesota, some years ago, urged that such a park be estab- 
lished on the international boundary line north of Lake Superior, and 
specified the region of Lake Saganaga. Since then, the region of the 
Itascan sources of the [Mississippi river has come into prominence, and it 
has served as the topic of several explorations and new "journals,'' 
which have given it already a renown equal to the earlier historic 
interests that cling to it since the days of liieutenant Allen, of II. R. 
Schoolcraft and Jean Nicollet. These artificial elements enter strongly 
into the question of making the selection for a state park, and bear 
heavily in favor of the sources of the ^lississippi for such a selection. 
There is, fortunately, a perfect exemplification of the natural surface 
features that characterize the glacial moraines of the state within a few 
miles of the Itasca lake, and, indeed, they give outline and location to 
the entire Itasean basin, and would thus serve to embrace, within easy 
access or in cond)ination, both tlu' natural and the artificial considers- 




tions. This region is, moreover, remote from Lake Superior, ami its 
attractions, by contrast with the surrounding country, would be height- 
ened in the mind of every visitor, whereas, in the nortlieastern part, of 
the state, Lake Superior and its attendant waters and surrounding 
hills, dominate the district, so that no selection could be made whose 
attractions would rise above those of the great lake itself. 

It is presumed that there would be no difficulty, whether in the 
f northeastern or the northwestern part of the state, or even in both, in 

getting the consent and co-operation of the United States government 
by the withdrawal of the lands concerned from the market, and per- 
haps of any private parties who may have received some of the lands 
from the United States, or from the State of ^Minnesota. At any rate, 
no time should be lost in entering upon the project, because of changes 
and increased difficulties that will render it impossible not many years 
hence.— 1889 Geological Keport, p. 5. 

After a consideration of the proposed park a map was called for. 
The first chart covered the region from Little ^Mantrap Lake to Kalca- 
bikans Rapids. Subsequently the first formal chart reduced the pro- 
posed park from an area of over one hundred sections to the smallest 
possible size on account of the land holdings by lumbermen entailing 
large and expensive costs. Quite elaborate reports were made on both 
propositions by the present author for the use of the committee, em- 
bodying many of the field notes of the Brower survey of 1889. The 
documents seem to have been mislaid in the archives of the society. 
The written records preserve nmny facts concerning proceedings re- 
sulting in the first formal enactment, a curtailed abstract of which 
records is here published, the mislaid original reports not having been 
found : 

Mr. Elfelt, from the special committee to whom was referred the 
proposal of ^Ir. Geist that this society advocate the establishment of a 
state park around the sources of the ^lississippi river, reported on said 
niatter and inclosed a communication from J. V. Brower, giving a state- 
ment regarding the lands in question and their ownership. The letter 
was accompanied by a map drawn from the records at the land otTices. 
Tlie matter was referred back to the committee to secure further infor- 



mat ion. — Extract from the record of proceedinjifs of the Historical So- 
ciety, April 14, 1800. 

Mr. Elfelt said that this society was indebted to 'Mr. J. V. Hrowcr 
for his services in making the map of tlie proposed state park at Lak»* 
Itasca, presented to the society on April 14, 1890, and that he liad nevrr 
been paid foi- tlie same. He moved that a warrant for twenty-tive dol- 
lars be drawn on the treasurer in favor of Mr. Brower. Affer some de- 
bate as to the proper amount to pay ^fr. Brower, ^[r. Lanizfoj-d moved 
to make the sum lifty dollars, which was adopted. ^Ir. Elfelt also 
inquired what action, if any, this society proposed to take regardini: 
the proposed state park. After some discussion it was, on motion of 
yiv. Flandrau, agreed that the society would memorialize the legisla- 
ture to take measures to establish such a state park, and the matter 
was referred to the committee appointed on April 14th on the same sub- 
ject.— Extract from the record of proceedings of the Historical Society. 
Dec. 8, 1890. 

Mr. Elfelt from the special committee on the proposed state park 
su])mitted a report, accompanied by a statement from ]\Ir. J. V. Brower 
and a map of the proposed reservation. After some debate, the subject 
uas recommitted to the committee with the request that the latter take 
steps to press the matter to the attention of the legislature at its present 
session. — Extract from the record of proceedings of the Historical So- 
ciety, Jan. 12, 1891. 

Mr. Elfelt, from the special committee on the state reservatiiui at 
Itascg, lake, made a report of the status of the matter and the views of 
members of the legislature on the proposed ineasure. General Sanborn 
also gave his views regarding the probability of the passage of the jm-o- 
posed bill, and pointed out the best way of securing it. ^Fr. Heard 
read the report of Mw Brower, which had been offered at a previous 
i^ieeting. After some debate the subject was laid aside to be consid- 
ered by the new council. 

Here the old executive council of the Historical Society adjourned 
snie die, and the new executive council present organized by the elec- 
tion of officers. 

The council then resumed tlie considei'ation of the subject of the 
state park. 



Considerable debate ensued pro and con, with examination of tho 
Brower map, the state map, etc. 

General Sanborn moved that the subject be referred to the samo 
committee as had been considerinfr the same in the former council, and 
that they be instructed to carry the project in effect in such way as they 
may deem best. Adopted.— Extract from the record of proceedings of 
the Historical Society, Feb. 9, 1891. 

Mr. Elfelt, from the special conmiittee on the proposed state park 
around Lake Itasca, reported that since the last meetincr, General San- 
bom, senator from Ramsey county, had, at the request of the commit- 
tee, introduced a bill into the senate, condemning lands in Beltrami 
county for the state reservation. Report. adopted. 

In response to an inquiry made to him, ^Ir. Elfelt also stated that 
General Sanborn had, in the above connection, also introduced a bill to 
provide for the publication by the state, under the auspices of this so- 
ciety, of ]Mr. J. V. Brower 's report of the hydrographical survey of 
Lake Itasca and its basin.— Extract from the record of proceedings of 
the Historical Society, March 7, 1891. 

The documentary evidences consisting of two original maps and a 
lengthy written report by ^Ir. Brower for the use and infonnation of 
the historical society, upon which many mouths' consideration and 
labor were expended, created the original formal basis for the state 
park. The last of the two charts mentioned became the original chart 
of the park as finally established. It was entirely made from the 
Brower field notes and information secured from the St. Cloud and 
Crookston land offices. The reason why an insignificant amount was 
allowed for the difficult work performed in formulating the status 
which created the true basis for a permanent and picturesque public 
reservation about the flowing springs which constitute the actual 
source of the ^lississipjn, may be understood to indicate a lack of 
sufficient funds to meet the expense, the appropriation for the support 
of the society being so inadequate that the labor performed and the 
costs contributed became a necessary sacrifice for the purpose of pre- 
venting an abandonment of the i)roposition to establish the park. No 
person volunteered to finance the movement and there was not at any 



time available any sum Avhatsoever to meet the necessary outlay except 
the small allowance mentioned and the fee paid for making an india 
ink copy of the orip:inal chart herein reproduced. 

It can be here stated as a fact which cannot be successfully dis- 
puted, that for many years the author of this volume was compeled to 
keep the park proposition alive at his own individual expense, when 
tc do so was a personal sacrifice which became a menace to his estate 
and peace of existence, as will be shown by the happening of events 
which followed the action of the society when it necessarily concluded 
to refer the matter to the state legislature. Had he then concluded to 
decline to stand as the determined sponsor for the park, the project 
would have been an absolute failure. 

When the determination was reached to make the question one for 
action by the state legislature, the present author immediately gave the 
needed time to draft a bill for the establishment of the park as a state 
institution. General Sanborn introduced that bill as Senate File Xo. 
461, March 2nd, 1891, at the request of its author.. There was then 
presented to the president of the United States a formal application 
for the withdrawal from entry of all government lands within the 
proposed park limits, signed by Governor W. R. Merriam, General San- 
born and others. 

After consideration of the question of withdrawal on the part of 
the federal authorities at "Washington, the president, on the report of 
the commissioner of the general land office, communicated by the sec- 
retary of the interior, declined to withdraw the lands from entry, ])rin- 
cipally on the ground that a portion of them had been sold and disposed 
of, dismembering the area ownership which was proposed as the public 

An active canvass was necessary to pass the park bill, through the 
State Senate without a single vote to spare, on account of factious 
opposition led by Senator C. S. Crandall. When the bill finally pass.'d 
the Senate, April 4th, liS91, its friends were all urgent in securing a 
constitutional nuijority vote of tlie whole senate, but at so late a date 
ill the session, that there was but little hope to secure its passage 



tlirougli the house then in the throes of turmoil at closing scenes oT 
an active session. 

One senator otYt'red an adniendment pi-oviding that tlie pay of the 
cornniissioncr sliouhl C(^ase at the end of sixty (hiys. John P). Sanl)()ru 
accepted the amendment and it was understood to mean the death of 
the park hiw, as the hibor re(|uired for success could not be perfected 
short of several years' attentive work. 

Could any man be found who would perform the various duties 
imposed by the law, for sixty days' salary and no allowance for ex- 
penses? The opponents of the bill were jubilant when the amendment 
intended as a death blow was adopted. 

There was barely one chance for success! The rules of the house 
must be suspended in order to reach a vote on the final passage of 
Senate File 461, the park bill. By a fortunate circumstance the mem- 
bers of the house voted to permit each representative to call up one 
bill for passage. Hon. Thomas R. Foley, of Aitkin County, by close 
attention to the business of the session had become an influential and 
leading member on matte?*s of legislation. The author of this volume 
made a personal appeal, urgently requesting ^Mr. Foley to champion 
the passage of the bill through the house. AVith a distinguished 
presence he called the bill uj) on the ITtli of April, out of its regular 
order where it was awaiting action with hundreds of other measures, 
pleading with members to pass the bill as a wise and conservative prop- 
osition to preserve Itasca Lake, as a public resort. The bill was read 
the third time and passed by a vote of fifty-nine ayes and two nays. 
When it is understood that any objection would have prevented the 
passage of the act, it can be stated that the high esteem in which ]\lr. 
Foley was held by his associates was the real rt»ason why no objection 
was offered. The personal friendship which had been firndy establisli- 
ed between Messrs. Foley and l^rower, created the opportunity which 
made it a possibility for the latter to appeal for aid in favor of the 
passage of the law, aud Mr. Foley graciously consi^ited to urge the final 
step which made the movement for a park successful. Thereupon 
the act was enr-olled and submitted to the govei'iioi* for his approval. 
An unfortunate circumstance soon occurred which threatened the park 



bill. Deei)ly grieved, ^Ir. Foley stated that a senator directly iii- 
teiested in that measure, had broken his promise to support a tax biU, 
in Avhich Aitkin and other Counties of Foley's district had an 
absorbing interest. Thereupon he prepared a resolution directing the 
governor to return to the house Senate File 461, the Itasca State Park 
law, as a matter of self-protection for the people of his district, con- 
tradistinguished from the action of the senator who had violated his 
pledge to aid ^Ir. Foley's district. The threatened safety of the bill 
was an unfortunate condition. ^Ir. Foley was determined, awaiting 
only an opportunity to offer his resolution to recall the bill from the 
governor for reconsideration. No one could blame ^[r. Foley for pro- 
tecting the interests of his constitutents, but the long contest for a 
public state park with a visible promise of success, was too precious 
in its results to be noAV ended in defeat. A very hasty intei-^'iew be- 
tween two individuals— Tams Bixby, private secretary to Governor 
Merriam and J. V. Brower, was thereupon held when explanations were 
made of the proposed recall of the park measure. ^Ir. Bixby consent- 
ed to request the governor to approve the act. Thereupon the bill 
was immediately approved and signed, placing it beyond recall as an 
enacted law, subject only to amendment or repeal. No one will ever 
fully realize how necessarily strenuous were the exertions which finally 
resulted in establishing Itasca State Park, April 20th, 1891. 

Those exertions had thereupon only been fairly initiated, for no 
measure was ever more unreasonably harassed and opposed than has 
been the park law Avhicli required such sacrifice of time and energy 
with no hope of reward, to place it as a statute in the laws of ^linne- 
sota and press its provisions to a hopeful status for final success. 

On the fourteenth day after the passage and approval of the park 
law, the governor issued the following commission: 


Executive Department. 
^Villiam R. ;Merriam, Governor of said State, to J. V. Brower of Ramsey 
County, sends greeting : 

Reposing especial trust and confidence in your prudence, integrity 
and ability, I have appointed you, tlie said J. V. Brower, as commis- 



sioner of tho Itasca State Park, pursuant to an act of the lejLrislature 
of this state, approved April 20, 1891. 

You are therefore by tliese presents appointed and coniniissioned 
commissioner of the Itasca State Park, as aforesaid, to liave and to liold 
the said office, top:ether witli all the rights, powers and emoluments to 
the said office belonging or by law in anywise appertaining, until this 
commission shall be by me or other lawful authority sui»erseded or an- 
nulled, or exi)ire by force or reason of any law of this state. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my name and caused the 
great seal of the State of [Minnesota to be affixed at the capitol, in the 
city of St. Paul, this fourth day of ^lay, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and ninety-one and of the state the thirty- 

By the Governor, 

\yillia:m r. :\ierpvIa:\l 

(L. S.) 

Secretary of State. 

At the date of the foregoing commission Itasca State Park, in the 
absence of a single acre of park land or cent of money in its fund, can 
be said to have been purely and simply a park on paper. Its status 
was made up from a law secured by patient toil and an enthusiastic 
commissioner eager for success. 

Consultation with the state auditor, who was legally charged with 
the general care and supervision of the park, was the first action taken 
under the new law. That officer refused positively to perform any act 
whatsoever to encourage the commissioner, who was thence obliged to 
proceed without his aid or advice. The Biermann brothers, auditor of 
state and deputy, were too busy with their own personal interests to be 
harassed with any state park proposition. Thenceforward, while they 
continued in office, all official relations between them and the park eoiu- 
missioner came to an abrupt terminus. They were not a necessity for 
success nor did their discourteous refusal to co-operate with the com- 
missioner have the slightest influence in delaying the work. For the 
best of reasons one term in the state auditor's office ended their public 
career forever. They refused to use any contingent fund to pny neces- 
sary expenses, the i)ark law itself carrying no ai)propriation. There- 



upon the ])ark coniinissioncr was compelod to pay all costs from 
liis own private and limited means. Tliat faet did not stop tlie woik 
for success a sirifrle moment of time. 

Tlie next urgent necessity was tlie inauguration of a movement to 
secure by public grant the government lands situated within the park 
area. All available proceedings were taken for a final donation of the 
remaining public lands, as thereon rested the only possible opportu- 
nity for a successful outcome. In the al)sence of a public grant of gov- 
ernment lands for the park, its establishment could not be effected, 
consequently the endeavors to secure the grant were characterized by 
energetic and strenuous efforts too numerous to describe at this time. 



The inestimable co-operation of lion. Alexander Ramsey, Governor 
AVilliam R. Merriam, and othei^ members of the historical society, gave 
weight and strength to the movements of the commissioner to secure 
the grant. lion. J. X. Castle, mendKM- of congress from the St. Paul, 
Minnesota, district, took charge of the question in congi-ess, present iuLT 
our petitions and inti'oducing the bill forwarded by the commissioner. 
A senator of the United States from Minnesota objected to the estal)- 
lislimcnt of the park, characterizing it as a "humbug." Telegrams 
«ind letters were promptly forwarded to him signed by Hon. Alexander 
Ramsey and other leading citizens requesting a C(\ssation of iiis opposi- 
tion, and nothing more was heard from his action. With tact and 
energy Hon. J. X. Castle pushed the bill through congress, and it was 




approved August 3, 1892, in a somewhat modified form from the orig- 
inal draft, reservinfr to the United States the right to declare a forfeit- 
ure of the grant "if at any time it shall cease to be exclusively used 
for a public state park, or if the state shall not pass a law or laws to 
protect the timber thereon." 

The following communication from the governor addressed to the 
park commissioner, caused the first official report to be issued: 


Executive Department, 
St. Paul, Aug. 3, 1891. 
Hon. J. Y. Brower, Commissioner of the Itasca State Park, 4G0 Jackson 
Street, City, 

Sir: Publications in the papers of the state have been made 
"within a few days past regarding the reputed discovery by a citizen of 
the State of New York of a new source of the ^lississippi river, which 
he claims to have made in 18S1, and has since "widely published his 
right to be considered as its original discoverer, and causes changes to 
be made in the maps of our state in support of such discovery. 

My attention has been called to these statements by citizens inter- 
ested in the truth and correctness of the geography of our state, and it 
is desirable to have some definite and correct statement officially made 
as to the hydrographic and other features of the Itasca basin, author- 
ized by law to be set apart as a public state park, gained from a thor- 
ough })hysical knowledge of the same, to the end that facts regarding 
the ultinuite source of the ^lississippi river may be established and 
published for the benefit of the people of this state. I therefore re- 
quest you to report to this departiiient any facts in your possession 
which may be deemed pertinent to this questiou "which has come to 
your knowledge as commissioner or otherwise. 

Yours respectfully, 




Itasca State Park Coiinuissioner's Ot'tice. 

St. Paul. Aug. 13. 1891. 
His Excellency, William R. ^lerriam. Covernor of Minnesota. 

Sir: 1 have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor 



of the third instant. rer[ue.stin<^ nic to report to your departuicnt any 
facts in my possession, as conimissioner of tlie Itasca State Park, or oth- 
ei'wise, descriptive of the liydi-oirraj^hic and other features of the Itasca 
basin, authorized by hiw to be set apart as a public park, to the end 
that facts rej^ardinfr the ultimate source of the ^lississippi river may be 
established and published. 

During: the year 1SS9, as a special connnissioner of the ^Minnesota 
Historical Society, a co-ordinate branch of the state government, I 
made a detailed hydroeraphic survey of the source of our great river, 
and formulated an exhaustive report thereon, which has not as yet 
been published. 

From the field notes then taken, the correspondence, and all exam- 
inations and researches made. I have the honor to report the following 
facts for the use of the executive department of ^linnesota. 

The drainage basin of the ^lississippi river extends from the Gulf 
of Mexico, at the mouth of the river, to an ultimate limit above and 
beyond Itasca lake in this State. This great basin, more than 1,000,000 
square miles in extent, is bordered on the east by the Alleghany and 
other ranges, and on the west by the Kocky ^fountains, and contains 
about 100,000 rivers and streams, which flow toward and finally dis- 
charge their waters into the ^Mississippi, principally through the mouths 
of the larger and more important confluent and affluent tributary 
rivers. These Avaters are entirely supplied In' the copious precipita- 
tion charactersitic of the fertile basin drained from north to south by 
the Mississi])pi. as its principal and most im])ortant river. 

To follow the propel* rule in ascertaining, under commission, the 
true and actual source of this principal river, for geographic purposes. 
I consulted European and American geographers, scientists and author- 
ities, gaining the following varied information as to what constituted 
the source of a river : 

"That the main stream of a river is that which flows along the 
lowest depression of the basin, and that a tributary which descends into 
it from a higher elevation even if longer is not to be considered the 
main stream." 

**A river cannot have a source, but many sources." 

*'A11 our rivers have their sources in the clouds." 

(This authority does not say that the clouds emanate from the 
oceans of the eai'th. or whence came the oceans.) 
. "The head of the longest continuous channel." 

"The sources of a river which are in a right line with its mouth. 



particularly when they issue from a cardinal point and flow to the one 
directly opposite." 

Other autliorities, some remote, and but a few reliable, sujij^est 
that the source nuist be a lake ; must be the lar<i:est lake ; should Ix^ the 
inner flanks of ihe heights of the land surrounding it; should be tlu' 
source, because it was next to the historic pass, by which one river had. 
from ancient times, been left to reach another; because it was fartlu'st 
from the mouth of the system; because it led down to the axis of the 
general valley of the basin : because it was at the head of the stream 
of largest volume; because it was geologically oldest, etc. 

This Avidespread variance of authorities, good, bad and indifferent, 
gave me but little comfort in an interesting geogi-aphic and historic re- 
search, the source of no two principal rivers of the world being alike, 
and I arbitrarily adopted a reliable rule of no uncertainty, a rule of na- 
ture, in ascertaining where the waters were gathered which form the 
ultimate source of the ^lississippi, and for that purpose the length of 
the main river in statute miles up through the valley of the basin, was 
ascertained from the official records of the United States government 

and otherwise, with the following result : 


From Gulf of ^Mexico, at the southwest pass, up the channel 

of the river to the city of New, Orleans 111.00 

From city of New Orleans to mouth of Ohio river . 965.50 

From mouth of Ohio river to city of St. Louis 182.00 

From city of St. Louis to city of St. Paul 728.75 

From city of St. Paul to falls of St. Anthony 13.00 

From falls of St. Anthony to Winnibigoshish lake 432.50 

From AVinnibigosliish to range 36 west of fifth principal meri- 
dian ; . , 96.50 

From range 36 west of fifth principal meridian to foot of Itasca 
lake ..^ 17.27 

Total 2,546.52 

Thus it appeared that the main river of the Mississippi basin ex- 
tends from the Gulf of ^lexico to the Itasca basin, a limited, j)ermanent 
depression upon the surface of the earth at the ultinuite source of the 

The geologic and natural featuiN^s predicating this conclusion are 
so well known and rstablisluMl that no reference to them seems neces- 
sary in this comnninit-atioii, cxc(^])ting thi^ jiossibility that the Missouri 
river, remotely suggi-sted l)y occasional incpiirei-s. might b<^ called the 


main river; but inasmuch as it is a confluent })rancli of the main stream, 
coming: in at one side, simihir to the Ohio and Ked rivers, I see no <^()od 
reason for discussini": that question at tliis time, nor do I deem it neces- 
sary to follow the historic data, however interestinfr, which has brou^rht 
to our notice and knowledge the existence of the nuiin riv(.M' extending 
from the Gulf to the Itasca basin, where it takes its rise, for there can 
be no well-founded disagreement as to that fact, because the discovery 
of the ^Mississippi, by piecemeal, is co-extensive with the discovery of 
the coast line of North America, and the facts are indisputable, in con- 
sequence of which I must base iny reply to your executive comnumica- 
tion upon the facts as they have been found to exist at and above Itasca 
lake, which has been for so many years recognized as the true source. 
To definitely determine those facts it became my official duty to ascer- 
tain whence came the waters of Itasca lake. This required a line of 
levels in the field with the following results, to ascertain elevations 
above the sea : 


Gulf of Mexico 0.0 

City of St. Louis, above the sea 384.8 

City of St. Paul 680.5 

Above Falls of St. Anthony (Minneapolis) 782.0 

Below Pokegama Falls . /. 1,284 . 

Winnibigoshish lake 1,292.8 

Cass lake 1,302.8 

Itasca lake 1,457.0 

The official reports of the United States government give the ele- 
vations to and including Cass lake, and an actual line of levels across 
the country from the railroad system of this state to Itasca lake, run 
by nie in 1889, demonstrated its' actual elevation above the sea at its 
outlet. The railway levels connect with the government levels. 

With the distances and elevations thus ascertaiTied, my survey of 
the ultimate source of the ^[ississippi river commenced in ^larch, 1889, 
upon the frozen surface of Itasca lake, at the centre of the channel of 
the river, at its debouchure, from the extreme north end of the lake. 

At a remote age the Itasca basin was the bed of one lake, now 
extinct, Avhich I deem it a privilege to designate as Lake Upham 
[changed to AVinchell to correct an error], and from this one hike, of 
unknown ages, by erosion, the waters probably having been inci-ensed 
by copious precipitation, cut their way throuiih the ice fonuntiou and 
alluvial stratum to a natural condition of the river bed, as it now 
exists, immediately below Itasca lake. This process of nature, the 



waters passinir to lower levels, has given us nearly one hundred lakcM 
and lakelets within the Itasca basin, systematically divided apart, each 
ol: a di tie rent elevation, up the inner tlanks of the Hauteur de Tci-re, 
surroundina' the whole, from the summits of which the waters are re- 
turned to the oceans, through Hudson's bay and the Gulf of Mexico, 
the Itasca basin itself being about seven miles long and five in width, 
and subsidiary to the main basin of the ^lississippi. 

The formation of Itasca lake is a small body of water at and 
around Schoolcraft Island, and three long, narrow arms projecting - 
one to the southeast, one to the southwest and one to the north— from 
the last of which the ^Mississippi passes out from the lake. From the 
southeast and southwest extremeties of the lake, picturesque valleys 
extend, denominated ~Sli\vy Valley and Nicollet Valley, respectively, 
and up these valleys numerous lakes exist, each at a higher elevation as 
you pass up the respective valleys than the one below, and each valley 
is drained by a running stream of perennial flowage, while at the side 
of the west arm Elk lake is situated, connected with Itasca by Cham- 
bers creek. 

Lines of measurements and of levels were run to and up through 
each of these localities. 

The distances are as follows: 


From the outlet of Itasca to the extreme southeast point at the 

mouth of ]Mary creek 22,639 

Up the channel of ]\Iary creek to Mary lake 3,658 

Total 26,297 

From the outlet of Itasca to the extreme southwest point at 

the mouth of Nicollet's Infant ^lississippi 17,926 

Thence up the channel to Nicollet's Middle lake 8,513 

Total 26,439 

From the outlet of Itasca to the mouth of Boutwell creek. . 13,627 

Length of Boutwell creek 8,700 

Total 22,327 

From the outlet of Itasca to the mouth of Elk creek 16,727 

Up the channel of Chand)ers creek to Elk lake 1,100 

Total 17,827 



These are the only streams eiitei'ing Itasca hike worthy of nny 
consideration. The volume of water, width, depth, and tl()wa<:(' of 
these several streams was carefully ascertained, and tlie lar^n-st and 
most important one, at all times they liave been examined by mc. in 
1888, 1889 and 1891, Nicollet's Infant ^lississippi river, has been found 
TO be the lar^rest in volume of water and the lar*:er and more impoi-tant 
in every particular, with several ])erennial branches auirmentinir its 
])rominenee above the southwest limit of Itasea lake wliere it dis- 
ohai'fjes its waters into the lowest in ])oint of elevation of the si^veral 
lakes there situated. 

Selecting- Mary Valley and Nicollet Valley as the two most remote 
water sheds within the ^Mississippi basin, the ordina'ry rules of hydroL'- 
raphy were applied, and it was found that ]\Iary Valley contained the 
Lesser Ultimate Reservoir and Nicollet Valley the Greater Ultimate 
Reservoir of the ^lississippi system, each separate and distinct, drained 
by natural surface tiowage. Then came the application of nature's 
common rule as to whence came the waters supplyin^r the streams drain- 
ing' these two ultimate water systems at the source of the ^Iississii)pi. 

It having been found that Nicollet Valley contained the more im- 
l>ortant reservoir, supplyinf? to Itasca lake the larger and the longer 
volume of surface flowage, I beg your indulgence in a minute descrip- 
tion of this most remote and ultimate system in the great ^[ississippi 
basin, situated within the State park. 

The perennial stream flowing down the inner flanks of the Hauteur 
de Terre to Itasca through Nicollet Valley was discovered by Jean N. 
Nicollet in 1836. At the point where its waters flow into Itasca lake it 
was forty feet in width and two feet in depth at the date of my survey. 
Narrowing as you ascend the stream, it becomes three feet in dej^th a 
short distance from Itasca lake, with an increased current. 

Passing up this interesting stream the explorer is impressed with 
its importance by its sharply defined banks, with its winding, meander- 
ing channel, deeply cut down into the stratum to a sandy, gravelly bed. 
with every appearance and characteristic of the ^lississippi Ix'low 
Itasca lake. It has sandbars, sharp angles in its channel, deep and 
shallowing currents, and all the iuot-e striking features of a larger river. 
I<arge trees found near its banks incline toward the stream; a variety 
of fish, large and small, were found in its Avaters: the mink, otter and 
muski'at abounded, and wild ducks of many Northern varieties were 
from tinie to tinn? noticed in its channel. Trees havi» been felbnl in sev- 
iiVixi places across its banks to permit of passage on foot. Upon tlie 




ri'iiioval of tliese trees, canoes niifjrht be propelled nearly two miles ui^ 
this principal channel from Itasca lake. 

These are a portion of the characteristics of tlie stream, indicat- 
in^r its permanency and importance, and, what is true of no otlu'r 
stream within the state park, it has three affluent branches flowing' iri 
from the heights of land to the westward, which augment its impor- 
tance and })ermanency above any other stream found there. 

These are Demaray creek, over one mile in lenjrth, Howard creek 
uearly one mile in length, and Spring Ridge creek, each fed by numer- 
ous springs, sharply indicating artesian pressure from the lakes highei- 
uj) the flank of the Itasca morain. At Nicollet's middle lake is found 
the northern limit of the Greater Ultimate Reservoir, with the ^lissis- 
sippi river flowing out from it toward Itasca lake. 

My lines of level and measurements were continued from this point 
up through the trough of the reservoir to Nicollet's upper lake of 
doubtful existence, to the ^lississippi Springs, Floating ^loss lake. 
AVhipple lake, the Triplet lakes, ^lorrison lake and Hernando De Soto 
lake, the last named being the most elevated and distant water from the 
Gulf of ^lexico within the ^Mississippi basin, exclusive of Avaters ema- 
nating from the summit of the Rocky ^Eountains at the source of the 

Elevations above the sea at the Greater Ultimate Reservoir are as 

follows : 


Nicollet *s lower lake 1.473 

Nicollet's midddle lake 1,47-t 

Nicollet's upper lake 1,500 

Mississippi Springs 1,54S 

Floating ^Moss lake l.oOl 

AVhij^ple lake 1,51)4 

The Triplet lakes 1,5(58 

^lorrison lake 1,571 

Hernando De Soto lake 1,571 

Summits of Hauteur de Terre 1,670 

The summits of Hauteur de Terre (heights of land), innuediately 
^vest of Hernando De Soto lake, divide the ultimate waters of the .Mis- 
sissippi from those of the Red River of the North. 

The first surface flowage in the Greater Ultimate Reserv(ur is n 
tuiy brook connecting Whipple lake with Floating ^loss lake. Down 
the incline from Floating Moss lake the Mississippi Springs sends forth 



a surface channel to Xicollot's upper lak«'. while three hundred fn-r 
Avest and twenty feet U)wer th»,' eliannel a<:ain ap[)ears in a continuous 
surface flowage to Itasca hike, which is 9,200 feet to the north. It 
might be well to mention the fact that the head of Howard creek, a 
small picturesque little stream with several miniature waterfalls, in 
connection with the Infant ]\rississippi. constitutes the longest sui-farc 

channel shown, as follows: 

Feet. Miles. 

Gulf of ^Mexico to Itasca lake 2,546.o2 

Thence to the mouth of Nicollet's Infant ^Mississippi 17,926 
Thence to head of Howard creek 11,126 

29,052 5 . 50 

From Gulf to head of Howard creek 2,552.02 

Other channel distances are: 

From Gulf to head of ]\Iary creek 2,551 .50 

From Gulf to head of Boutwell creek 2,550.74 

Fi'om Gulf to Elk lake 2,549.90 

From Gulf to extreme limit of the Greater Ultimate Reservoir 

it is 2,555 . 25 

From Gulf to the extreme limit of the Lesser Ultimate Res- 
ervoir it is 2,553.47 

The great river having now been actually measured in its entire 
channel length by connecting surveys, the distances given, for the first 
time, are certainly more accurate than mere guess work. 

Since the Greater Ultimate Reservoir is the extreme limit of Th'- 
Mississip})i basin, and the largest, longest and most important stream 
above Itasca lake, takes its rise therein as a perennial surface drainage. 
I have reported the same to the Historical Society as the ultimate source 
of the ^Mississippi. 


In 1836 the Scientist and Astronomer, Nicollet, laid down Elk lak-- 
as an estuary of Itasca, but. since that time the alluvial stratum at tlie 
outlet of Itasca has been diminished by the constant flow of the water 
current until the latter lake has receded from the former to a lower 
level, and the two lakes are now connected by a short creek. The orig- 



inal discovery of this creek and of Elk lake must be awarded to .luliiis 
Cliambers, wlio on the ninth of June. 1872, while encamped on Sclionl- 
craft Island, explored the shores of Itasca, passed up the chaiuirl of 
Chambers creek in his canoe to VJk lake, crossed to the southern slioi-i- 
of the lake, and, making a map of the lake, wrote : 

^'Ilere, then, is the source of the longest river in the world in a 
small lake, scarcely a quarter of a mile in diameter, in the midst of ;i 
floating bog, the fountains which give birth to the Mississippi." 1I<' 
found the lake much larger than he at first supposed. The world was 
jiotified by ]\[r. Chambers of his discovery in the colunnis of the N't w 
York Herald, page 8, July 6, 1872. 

Mr. Chambers then passed down the ^lississippi, from Schoolcj-aft 
Island to the Gulf of ^lexico, in his canoe. 

The next explorer to declare Elk lake the source was A. II. SicLr- 
fried, who, on the 13th day of Jwly, 1879, reached the lake. and. takinir 
.1 photograph of the same, declared it to be the ''highest tributai-y to 
the Mississippi," in the columns of the Eouisville Courier Journal, Auir- 
ust, 1879. 

The lake and creek were also visited in 1875 by Edwin I la II. in 
1880 by 0. E. Garrison, and in 1881 by Kev. J. A. Gilfillan. Whatever 
significance may attach to Elk lake as the source, Chambers must be 
awarded the honor of a first and original discovery, to the exclusion of 
all others, except Indians, known in our history, and the name "Elk." 
officially pronuil crated by the authorities of the United States, is tin- 
proper and legitimate name for this body of water, acquiesced in by 
legislative enactment, and Chambers creek takes its name from its 
discoverer. No one of the several brooks flowing into Elk lake are of 
any great importance, and all of them were completely closed with ice 
in March, 1889, and all of them were dry in August of the same year. 

Geographic discoveries at and above Itasca lake prior to my sur- 
vey in 1889, of authentic record, worthy of consideration and belief. ai-e 

as follows: 

William ^lorrison. first of white men 18();^ 

ir. R. Schoolcraft, Itasca lake 18:r2 

Jean X. Nicollet, Five Inlets 18:^r) 

Julius Chand)ers. *Elk lake and creek 1872 

E. S. Hall, government survey 187.") 

Hopewell Clark, special survey 188('» 

(*Elk lake and creek, discovered by ^\v. Chambei-s in 1S72. are 
constituted of waters erroneously clainu^d to have been diseovei-ed in 
1881 by the person referred to in your comnuinication.) 

" J 





Itasca lake is at Xhv hnvt-st depression of tlie basin and Ilei iiando 
de Soto, ]\IoiTison and nunierons othei* lakes are at the suniinit of the 
hasin, and the water pressure fr-oni the lal^es al)ove Itasea. tlie whole 
heinfr exclusively supplied hy precipitation, causes a contributory in- 
flow into Itasca lake, which is increased or decreased from time to tin»e, 
accordin^r to the ([uantity of rainfall or duration of drouu-ht. as either 
may prevail. 

One peculiar sifruificanee is demonstrated by the fact that Itasca 
lake has a flood plain of but little more than three feet in elevation 
above the natural surface of the lake. The rlood plains of the lakes 
lii^rher up are ten, fifteen and twenty feet. Thus, while Itasca lake is 
always supplied and sometimes rises during dry Aveather, the lakes at 
tlie summit dry down rapidly to a lesser surface area, depending upon 
rainfall to resupply them. During the summer of 1890, copious rain- 
fall caused Lake Itasca to rise a foot or more above Elk lake, and 
Chambers creek flowed into, instead of out from, Elk lake. The out- 
flow of Lake Pepin, through which the ^lississippi takes its course, is 
controlled by the inflow, and Lake Itasca presents a striking similarity. 

Infinitesimal deductions are necessarily drawn, however, from as- 
certained facts in order to discover the location of the ultimate source. 
Itasca lake lies at the pit of the basin and receives the waters dis- 
charged into it from summits surrounding it. which in return pass out 
into the channel below, forming the main water course of our country, 
to the Gulf. Consequent inferences may therefore be drawn by those 
who still believe that Itasca lake is the source of the river, it being sit- 
uated at the pit of the lowest depression of the limited Itasca basin, 
but I know it to be a fact that there is a Greater Ultimate Reservoir 
there at the summit, and it constitutes the ultimate source. 

To prevent unauthorized, erroneous and deceptive changes in our 
state map, I suggest that a resume of the historical and geograi)hical 
facts which led up to the final determination to locate the state park at 
the .source of our great river* be included in my forthcoming report, and 
then, by legislative enactment, prohibit, within our own stat'\ the illicit 
clianges in the state map so assiduously persisted in from mercenary 

The law requires me to report a detailed chart of the park, and 
topographic field notes for that purpose will be completed in due time. 
Verv respectfully your obedient servant, 

J. V. BROWEr.. 

Park Connnissioner. 



Active stops wcv taken to pcrfeet an abstract of title oT the w hole 
jii-ea of the pai-k to indicate and ascertain wlio were tlie sevei'al owners 
of pine hinds within the onter limits of the resei-vation. Manx- other 
proceedin^is were had and taken so numerous and varied that Ihev 
cannot ])e stated in detail, some of which may i)e referred to as follows: 

liOnd <rT*ant from the Northern Pacific Railroad Company hy 
formal approved contract throu^ih the courtesy of Hon. Thomas K. 
Oakes, president of the company, 2.*2o2.96 acres at fifty cents per acre. 

Land grant from the Littk^ Falls & Dakota Railroad Company. 
200 acres at one dollar per acre. 

Conferences with lion. Jolm S. Pillsbury and Hon. Charles A. 
Pillsbury at their offices at ^liniieapolis, Minn., wlien they declined, 
absolutely, to make any concession for park purposes of any portion 
of tlie large tracts of land they had ac([uired at Itasca Basin, requiring 
that the State shall pay the full value of the property. Xo agreement 
could be perfected as to the true value or the price. 

Conference with ^tr. T. B. Walker, who was the owner of larire 
tracts of pine land within the park limits. He also refused to make 
any concession for j)ark purposes whatsoever, demanding his own 
price on his own estimates of value. 

Conferences with Frederick AVeyerhauser and others, officers of 
the Vine Tree Lund)er Company. Xo concession could be secured for 
park purposes, AVilliam Sauntry for the company demanding as a 
prerequisite that the highest cash prict^ be paid for the tract of 
acres held by that company at an average rate of seventeen 
<lollai-s per acr-e. The commissioner did not have at his disposal any 
fund whatsoever, in consecpience of which the negotiations came to an 
end. That company pui-chased their lands from the Xorthei-n Pacitie 
Kaih'oad Com})any at two dollars per thousand feet for white pine, 
nothing foi- Xorway i)ine, and the land paid for with depreciated 
pi-eferred stock at the cost of about one dollar per acre in actual cash 
payments. The negotiations for the park with this Imnber eomparix' 
continued for a long pt'riod of time with i-atber vague promises of 
success. When the ajjplication foi- the laiuls as a donation for pai-k" 
purposes at cost was turned down by M?-. Saunti-y fo?* the Pifie Tree 





Company, he pci-fectcd his dcniands with an oner<rotic and thiit't>- 
nltiniatnni entirely eharaeteristic of a suecessfnl lund)ernian. jitid 
every liope for a Wcyerhauser donation to the par-k vanished fori'Vri-. 

A topo<rra])hie survey of the park area was proceeded with in 
order to comply witli the requirement of the park law for tln^ p(M't'»c- 
tion of a park chart. That provision of the law was fully complied 
with by the commissioner. The chart reported to the governor was 
widely circulated all over the world, a reduced copy of which, with 
additions to the park in color, has been prepared for issue with this 
volume. The topo^iraphic survey was perfected during the years ISOI 
and 1892, and the chart was published in 1893. 

Brook trout were propagated in several streams of the pari: in 
1891 by the commissioner in person. 

Volume VII. Minnesota Historical Society Collections, descriptive 
of historic, hydrographic and topogra])hic facts connected with Itasca 
Lake and the park, was proceeded with, perfected, and published iiy 
the State for the Society under direction and authorship of the com- 
missioner of the park, while laboring without compensation or allow- 
ance for expenses. That volume was one of the necessary re(iuisitcs 
for the successful formation and establishment of the park. The fore- 
going fails to indicate the tremendous amount of labor performed to 
secure the results obtained. Also there are omitted all personal ref- 
erences concerning the trials, disappointments and extreme hardships 
and privations encountered and suffered by the commi.ssioner while 
the park was undergoing its formative period. Xo one will ever 
know that complete tale of woe and tribulation. 

On the 8th day of December, 1892, the second report of the park 
commissioner was made to the governor, as follows: 



Commissioner's Office. 
St. Paul, December 8th, 1S92. 
To Ilis Excellency, William R. Merriam, (lovernor of the Stat* of 
Minnesota : 

Sir: — I have the honor to tratismit my re|>ort. pursuant to section 
8, chapter oG, (JeiuM-al Laws of 18!)L 

^ly official duties commenced on the 9th day of May, 1891, and 



mulor tlio law have n<»t as yet come to a final conclusion. A ])roviso 
to section 7 of the Itasca State Park law limits the time of compensation 
for the performance of these duties to sixty days. Having' found that 
it was a physical impossibility to make a detailed chart of tiie i)ark, 
to examine the titles of record in the different offices of tlie re^ristci-s 
(»f deeds in IIubl)ard. Becker and Beltrami counties, and to i)rocui'e for 
the State 19,701.(i9 acres of land, the area covered by the [)ai*k limits 
within the time contemplated. 1 concluded to disre^rai-d the proviso, 
and perform all of the official duties rtMpiircHl of me, without com- 
pensation for per diem and expenses, trustin<r that the State would 
eventually compensate me for labor performed and expenses incurred. 
It. was the only exi)edient possible for a successful termination of the 
provisions of the law. Had any other conclusion prevailed, the park 
law, for the present at least, would liave been inoperative, the State 
auditor having: declined to audit any of the accounts of this office. 

Titles Examined. 

The records of the office of the rej^ister of deeds for the counties 
of Becker, Hubbard and Beltrami were carefully examined to ascertain 
the condition of titles and the names of the owners of the lands within 
tlie park limits, and. with the exception of about eitrht hundred acres 
in Jlubbard county, the titles of private owners appear to be perfect. 
I have noted down in writing all the conditions of the several titles 
up to and inchidino; the dates of the examination. 

The Detailed Chart of the Park. 

There is herewith transmitted a detailed chart showinj; all the 
physical features of the park; which surround the ultimate source of 
the Mississippi, at the utmost limit of the basin of the river. I have 
exercised p-reat care in the construction of this chart, by personally 
Kurveyintr and examinin»r each quarter section of land in detail, with 
the exception of a small tract in the northwest corner. In 1889. lS})d 
and 1891 I made a detailed hydro<:raphic survey of the locality for 
the State Historical Society, and tln^ field notes then reduced, coupled 
with the field notes taken for the State, have been used in the accurate 
composition of this final chart, which I trust will serve all necessai-y 
purposes for many years to come, and until the State by enacttnent 
chooses to have made an accui'ate contour map of the pi-eniiscs. In 
order to determine ac-tual elevations above tln^ sea level. I ran a line 
from the end of the railroad track at Park Rapids to th<' surface of the 






walei' nt Itasca lake and tlience to otlier poi'tions of tlie park, and 
I liavc also ascertained the exact lenj^th of the ^lississippi and the 
distances from the State Capitol, from Lake Snj)erior, from the nortli. 
wt'St and south boundaries of the State to the State Park. These dis- 

tances are as follows: 

Distance from the State Cai)itol, overland 240 miles 

Distance from tlie State Capitol, by channel of the ]\lississippi.5fj0 miles 

Distance from Lake Superior 150 miles 

Distance from north boundary of State 125 miles 

])istance from west boundary of State 75 miles 

Distance from south boundary of State 252 miles 

The Government Grant of Lands. 

The vacant government land within the park limits amounted to 
nearly seven thousand acres and it became a difficult undertakinLr to 
secure these lands to the State, in view of the fact, to secure grants 
of land from the United States at this time, for any purpose, is no easy 
task. Every attention possible was given towards securing these 
vacant lands to the State, and with the very able assistance of lion. 
J. X. Castle, of Stillwater, ^Minn., a member of congress, the grant to 
tlie State became a law on the 3d of August. 1892, securing to tlie 
State forever the use of these lands for park purposes. conditioniMl 
oidy that the timber shall be protected by law. These lands whidi 
come to the State under this grant are particularly valuable for park 
purposes. They are principally timbered lands and give a lake front- 
age of ten miles about Itasca, Elk and ^lorrison lakes. ^Fany of the 
most picturesque scenes in the Itasca Basin are situated within this 
government grant. 

Appended will be found a history of the grant and a copy of the 
United States statutes covering the same. 

Prudence would seem to dictate that an act should be passed by 
the legislature accepting the grant. 

A Grant of Lands by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. 

The north forty mile limit of the land grant from the XortheiMi 
Pacific l{ailroad company passes through the center of the State Park 
from southeast to northwest. The operation of the government grant 
tn the raili-oad company covers oidy the odd numbered sections. 
Negotiations for a concession of these lands to the State were ojjeii.'d 
with President T. F. Oakes, early in 1891. Col. Charles H. Lamborn: 
the land commissioner, who reported upon my application for these 





l;>iuls, roconnuendecl tliat tlu'v be deeded to the State for one dollar, 
liiasmueh as the hinds are liehl in trust for the benefit of stockhohlers 
oi- otherwise, tlie board of direetors of the company find it necessary 
to i"e])ort a compensation for the hinds sold, and tlie nominal price of 
hfty cents per acre was fixed as the compensation and tliis very liberal 
oHer lias been accepted l)y me, and a formal contract in tln^ name <»t' 
the State has been made and executed accordingly, subject to the ap- 
proval of the governor. 

Tliis company also controls the ijrant to the Little P'alls & Dakota 
railroad, two hundred acres of which lie within the park limits. This 
was offered at one dollar per acre by the same board of directors, and 
like action taken thereon as in the case of the Xortliern Pacific com- 

A full history of these negotiations and a copy of the contracts 
are appended. 

It only requires that the legislature appropriate the amount 
necessary to consummate the contracts in order that the formal deeds 
from the company to the State may be placed upon record, on or before 
the first day of July, 1893, at which time the contracts will lapse. 
This favorable outcome in these negotiations with the Northern Pacific 
comi)any, practically constitutes a generous grant to the State. 

The Great Northern Railroad Lands. 

The Great Xortliern railroad company controls two hundred and 
ten acres of land within the park limits, selected on behalf of the 
grant of State swamp lands to the M. & St. C. railroad. Application 
has been made for the relinquishment of these lands to the State, and 
the, application is pending, with the expectation that the final out- 
eome will be favorable and satisfactory. 

Lands Known as the Weyerhauser Tract. 

The Pine Tree Lumber Company has acquired title to 8.191.00 
acres within the park limits from the Xortliern Pacitic railroad com- 
l>any. This purchase was made prior to the establishment of the pai-k. 

In June, 1891, application was made to the Pine Tree Co. for its 
lands. The members of the company were widely separated and nego- 
tiations were slow and unsatisfactory. On the 3rd day of December. 
L'^Ol*. 1 met Mr. Frederick AVeyerhauser, one of the trustees of the 
Pine Tree company, by appointment, and with a( committee of tli«' 
J^tate Historical Society, consisting of Hon. Alexander l\amsey, Capt. 




IVtor l^i'rkey. Charles D. Elfelt, Ksq., and Gen. John H. San})orn. an 
initlerstandinir was reaeliod with Mr. Weyerhauser that these hinds 
shouUl conio to the State witliont the necessity of foi-mal proecedinirs 
ill condemnation, Tlie j)rice however, has not been agreed ni)on, and 
iK-jrotiations are still pendinpr. It is now })elieved that with the favor- 
able recommendation of Mr. AVeyerhanser these lands will soon be 
l>Iaced at the disi)osal of the State by formal contract at a reasonable 

As these lands are closely snrrounded by other lands now within 
the control of the State, their value for park purposes can hardly be 
over estinuUed, and when acquired will constitute a very valuabh' 

The School Sections. 

Sections 16 and 36 in township 143, ran^re 36. are within the park 
limits and enure to the grant to the State for purposes of public in- 
struction, and it properly appertains to the duty of the auditor of 
State, acting as land commissioner, to consummate the legal formality 
of transfer, under the law of 1891. 

Other Lands. 

Almost the entire balance of the lands within the limits of the 
park are owned and controlled by Hon. John S. Pillsbury and T. H. 
Walker, Esq., of ^linueapolis, ^linn. ^>ly negotiations with those 
o^^^lers of land have up to this time been without result. They have 
suggested a sale of their lands to the State by an estimate of Stumpair.' 
at $2 ])er ]\r. for standing Norway pine and if'4 per M. for standijisr 
white pine, the land to go with- the stumpage. I have not- deemed it 
advisable to accept such an otYer, because stumpage for standing pine 
at Itasca lake has not heretofore commanded that price per M. The 
further consideration of my unwillingness, is the necessity of a ch)se 
and cari'ful estimate of stumpage on the grounds, the cost to the Stat»' 
<lepending on the estimates, and I do not feel entirely authorized to 
j.roceed on that basis. It would seem that the most satisfaetoiy 
iManner in which these lands can be acquired would be in formal pro- 
ceedings in the district court on behalf of the State, that impartial 
<'(»mmissioners may be appointed to appraise the value of the lands. 
1 think proceedings in condemnation would prove entirely satisfactory 
to all concerned, as the value would in any invent necM^ssarily be tixed 
U'onx the results of an examination, and it is best that swoimi eommis- 







si<m»'i's appointed ])y tho court should Ix' tlic authority to appraise 
tlu' hind and fix the value 1 liave personally exauiined all thes" 
hinds and they are neeessai-y for a eoiupact limit in tlie official for- 
iiiation of the reserve. 


Area of the State park 19,701.09 acres 

Crantcd by the United States 6,956.92 acres 

(iranted by the Xorthern Pacific Co... 2,452.96 acres 
'J'he AVeyerhanser tract (negotiation favor- 
able) 3,191.90 acres 

Two school sections 1,280.00 acres 

Ci'reat Xorthern selections 210.16 acres 

Undisposed of swamp lands • 82.67 acres 

14,174.61 acres 14,174.01 acres 
Area covered by unsuccessful negotiation. 5.527.08 acrt'S 

^Fr. William ^Mc^Mullen is the only actual settler within the pai-k 
limits. He holds a homestead claim, but has not 3'et proved up, anil 
the area of his claim is included in the area covered by unsuccessful 

The Head Waters of the Mississippi. 

Situated within the State Park limits are the utmost head water 
branches of the ^lississippi river, and for that reason the attention of 
civilized humanity has been, from time to time, more or less drawn 
towards it, since the discovery of the river in A. D. 1541. 

The correctness of the hyd^'o,^rral)hic coiulitions at and above 
Itasca lake havin*j: been questioned, youi* excellency on the :]rd ("f 
Au«:ust, 1891, reriuested me to report the facts in my possession which 
liad come to my knowledi^e as connnissioner or otherwise. The report 
made by me in response to your request and the map accompanyinLr 
It is apj)ended. This report and maj) was published and widely cir- 
<-n]ated l)y this office. On the first day of July last the State Pi-intiiii: 
Uomjiiissioner called for a volume written and edited by un\ foi* th«' 
^tate Historical Society, in the imture of a report ui)on the discovery 
<»f the river and its source, a historical and «;eo«>raphical r»'Cord. This 
Volume lias been printed by the state printers under the supervision 
•d* this office, and is about ready for publication and disti-ibut ion 
tlir(»u<:h tlie office of the Secretarv of State. The first advance copy 





of the volume is hei'i'witli .sei)aratt.*ly transmitted for your inspect inn. 

Trout Streams. 

There are sevei'al streams of water within tlic park, whicli ai--- 
f.tvorably situated for the pi-opairation of brook trout. Durini^ Au- 
L'list aiul September. 1891, I transj)()rted and successfully pbieed alxtut 
six thousand trout, from the state liatcheiy, at the park. In May. 
]S1»-J. all arran<renients were completed for the transportation of forty 
thousand trout to several streams there, but owin«r to the excessive 
rain storms of the i)eriod the attempt was abandoned. The Stat<' 
Fish Commission has promised to place a sut'ficient nund)er of M-out 
in tlie streams of the park, durinfi" the season of 1893. 

A Forest of Pine. 

The entire i)ark. with the exceptix)n of a limited swamp area and. 
occasionally, an openinir, is a picturescpie forest of white, Norway and 
l»anks pine, intermixed with limited ({uantities of cedar, fur, si^ruci', 
maple,, elm, basswood, birch, aspen and oak. 

Practically, more than one billion feet of timber, per annum, is 
cut aiul marketed iu ^Minnesota, and at no distant day the park will 
fontain the only tract of standin}? pine within the borders of the State. 
At llie time when that period shall have been reached and passed the 
State will have a population of several millions of people: railroads, 
t<iwns, villages, aj^ricultural pursuit.s and industrial interests will then 
have practically covered the entire portion of the State, and this foi'est 
reservation will become easily accessible and of grreat value as a public 

Compensation For Services and Expenses. 

The entire laboi^ described. in this i'e{)ort, and all of the expensi s 
inrurred, have been performed and paid by me without havin«: l)cen 
in any manner compensated or reimbursed for the same. I re([uest 
that you recommend to the legislature an appropriation adecjuatc to 
tlic labor perfornied and the cash expenses necessarily paid. 

Having had no ai^propriation with which to carry out the re(iuirc- 
in.-nt.s of the law, and laboring under adverse circumstances. I tiMist 
tliat my ofiicial acts will be deemed to be satisfactory, and meet with 
I lie approval of your excellency and the incomin.g legislature. 

Respectfully submitted. 
Your obedient servant. 

J. V. l^KOWKR. 
Park Commissioner. 

Park lands in black, other tracts in white, water surface reserved. 



January 3, 1893, the letrislature of the State of Minnesota con- 
\»'ne(l at St. Paul. Gov. William K. Merriani the next day (leli\«'r(Ml 
liis fai-owell messaire when he made the following statement concern- 
in vr the park : 


Ai the session of the legislature of 1891 an act was passed cre- 
ating a state park around Lake Itasca. Pursuant to the provisions 
of that act, on ]\Iay 4. 1891, I appointed ]\Ir. J. V. Brower as commis- 
sioner of the park. ^Ir. Brower at once proceeded to secure conces- 
.sions from the owners of the lands in the reservation, and with naicli 
success, so that now the state can acquire the entire ownership of tht; 
tract with a very reasonable outlay. The entire area of the park 
Amounts to 19,701.69 acres. I also requested ^Ir. Brower to examine 
tlie question of what is the true and real source of the ^lississippi. and 
his conclusions regarding that topic are given in his report submitted 
herewitli. It will remain for the legislature to decide whether it will 
provide for the outlay necessary to purchase the lands included in tlif 
limits of the Itasca State Park. 

The accompanying diagram was drawn by the park conimissioni-r 
to indicate the location of park lands under control of the state and 
individual holdings by lumbermen and others. The diagram has lici-c- 
tofore been twice ])ublished. first by the St. Paul Globe and second l)y 
tln' state fire warden in a fourth annual repcM't. 

Such were the actual conditions at the end of two years' labor 
under operation of tlie park law, seasons of 1891 and 18I>'J. when the 
entire (juestion was again referred to the K'gislatui-e by (ioveriuw 
Meri-iam. It was assuredly the end of the formative period in the life 



Erected to secure pine land on X. I*. U. K. indemnity grant witii adverse 
result. President Cleveland's order opening the grant to speculating 
settlers was reversed by Federal Courts. 



of a i)ark, j]frandly beautiful in its over«rreeii shores, deep valleys, 
wooded hills and dense forests, where the lionie of wild animals, the 
Kouf^s of birds, an angrier 's paradise, all with a woild-wide historic 
roeofrnition, rested in seclusion l)ut with oi)en doors and a standinLr 
irrevocable invitation for every human being in the whole world to 
visit and enjoy a public resort where the peace, purity and plenty of 
nature's cause rei<rned supreme over the destines of carpeted, cone- 
bedecked hills, moss-covered valleys, and an atmospliere of superb 
aromatic excellence chartred with the divine gifts which emanate un- 
interruptedly from magnificent clusters of the pine, cedar, fir, spruce, 
and birches which intermingle where devastating trespasses are 
crimes when an enforced law, honestly executed, shall pi'otect forever 
in a state of nature that which nature and man have cond)ined to give 
for the cause of human freedom. 

The formative period having been successfully passed, the per- 
fective period now begins. Many and important park interests needi'd 
careful attention, as the avarice of rude and destructive trespassers 
aided by covert influences foreshadowed a dangerous menace which 
might threaten the stability and mar the beaut}' of an established 
state park. 

AVealthy and influential lumbermen as owners of a consid ^l ablc 
l»ortion of the area adjoining Itasca and Elk lakes persistently rcfnsiMi 
^lny aid or concession whatsoever. Their attitude indicated distinctly 
that they nuist be dealt with on terms which were so burdensom.' 
that the beginning of the i)erfective period created days of anxiety 
f«»r the i)ark commissioner. He stood empty handed and alone facing 
an array of op])()nents who threatened the stability and the preserva- 
tion of Itasca State Park. 







During- the 1893 session of the ^Minnesota legisUiture, vai-ious pro- 
ceedings were initiated to perfect the foi-niation of the state i)arlc. 

The bill to accept the grant of lands at Itasca Lake from the 
United States as prepared by the commissioner, passed both liouses 
of the legislature without opposition and was approved, becoming a 
law April 19th, 1893. The senate finance committee lieaded by :\rr. 
C. S. Crandall, who had persistently opposed the formation of the state 
park, and the make-up of the house appropriations committee, created 
a very unfavorable outlook for success. 

The park commissioner proceeded to formulate a status of pro- 
ceedings less obstructive than nuist necessarily be met with while .Mr. 
Crandall was chairman of the senate finance committee, through vv hieh 
all appropriation bills must pass unless otherwise ordered. Th3 fol- 
lowing resolution disclosed the park commissioner's plan for ameliora- 
tion of an oppressive opposition: 

Kesolved, By the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring, 
that a joint special committee, consisting of five on the part of the 
^*^«*nate and nine on the part of the House, l)e appointtnl by the re- 
>^I»ective presiding officers to take under consideration and rej^ort rpon 
all matters pertaining to the Rasca State Park. 

The resolution passed both houses aiul a special joint committee 
eonsisting of Senators Sanborn, John Day Smith, Donnelly, :\rcHale 
and Hompe, and l\epresi'ntatives Markham, Abbott. Cirei'r. Tuim-cH, 
M'Mning, Scofield, Moore, (Jorman and Furlong, was duly initiatr;! for 
consideration of pai'k matters, beginning February 3, 18!)3. 



All necessary bills were prepared by tlie coiiunissioner and at his 
request introduced into the senate, February 8th, 1893, and referred 
to the special joint committee on Itasca State Park and considered by 
that committee. The bills appropriated sums of money to pay the 
Northern l*acific Railroad Company for lands contracted for, to pay 
the park commissioner for his services and expenses, and providintr a 
fund to meet judgments in condennuition j)i-oc'eedings. The I'epoi-ts 
were favorable, whereupon Senator Sanborn moved that the bill for the 
relief of the commissioner and condensation of lands at Itasca Lake 
for park purposes, be referred to the finance committee. That action 
defeated every purpose and object of the joint special committee. 
Senator Crandall was chairman of the finance committee. lie secured 
possession of the bill February 10th and held it up fifty days without 
action. On the first day of April he reported the measure to the senate 
without recommendation, whereupon the bill was placed at the foot of 
general orders fully prepared for an untimel}' death. In the Senate 
Journal at page 203 the recording clerk erroneously transposed the 
bills S. F. Xos. 250 and 251, as will be readily noticed by referring to 
pages 616 and 668, where respectively they occupy positions regularly 
assigned, notwithstanding the clerk's erroneous record at page 203. 
The fifty days during which ^Ir. Crandall held up the success of Itasca 
State Park by neglecting and refusing to permit the bill, S. F. No. 251, 
to be considered and promptly reported for action, were spent by the 
park commissioner in organizing a- movement to grasp victory from 
defeat. The entire (juestion was now placed in charge of Senator John 
Day Smith and right royally he fought in open session for fair treat- 
ment and favorable action. lie it was who placed the entire matter 
as amendments to the omnibus appro])riation bill as it passed the sen- 
ate, but oi)position was active and a committtH' on conference was or- 
dered resulting in an agreement of the two houses to abandon the par-k 
commissioner to his fate without any ai)pr()priation whatsoever except 
$1,326.48 to meet approved land contracts nuide with the Noi'thern 
Pacific Kailroad Comi)any. The final outcome can be found at page 
846, Senate Journal, Ai)ril 15, 1893, in the following words: * « ♦ ♦ 



That the Senate recede from its aJiiendnient to tlic tentli (10th) sub- 
ilivision of seetion nine (9) appropriating,' twelve tliousand five hun- 
dred dollai's, to procure title to land not yet purchased in Itasca State 
I 'ark. * * * * 

Three days later the leirislature of the jjreat State of Minnes(^ta. 
for 1893, filed out of the capitol building at St. Paul at the last hour 
of the session, leaving the })ark without a fund, abandoned to what- 
ever circumstances might eventually overtake it. 

The Itasca State Park Commissioner— Mr, J. Y. Brower— stood 
on the portico of the old capitol building as the legislators passed by. 
He was defeated, but not disconsolate, disheartened or dishonored. 
That hour he declared while bearing the burdens imposed by most 
unjust legislative obstruction— "Itasca State Park Shall Live For- 
ever," notwithstanding the objections of Mr. C. S. Crandall and Mr. 
J. T. Wyman, who were respectively chairmen of the Senate Finance 
Committee and of the House Appropriations Committee for 1S93. 
Each refused to aid a state institution which had been duly established 
by law, at the expense of an unprotected public official, capably and 
successfully performing the duties imposed by an operative statute, 
mandatory in its provisions. 

Two courses of procedure on the part of the commissioner were 
open for his choice : 

First. Resign office and leave the park to its fate. 

Second. Proceed without pay or an expense fund, to protect the 
interests of an established state institution at his own ex- 
pense until factious opposition was overcome. 

In 1642, Hollanders left the Netherlandish shores seeking tlie 
great privileges of liberty. Some of them passed to the Transvaal, 
others to New Amsterdam. History indicates the true character of liardy and persistent people, of which they have no reason to l»e 
ashamed. The Itasca State Park commissioner descended (lir< rily 
from the Dutch migration which established New Amster-dani. now 
CJreater New York. He it was on that fateful A\)v'i\ 18th, 1S93, wli.'u 
the park was abandoned to ita fate, relying upon the persistent and 






» iit'ri:«*tic i)()WfM-s of tenaeioiis adherence wliieh lu.' lilKM-jilly iiilu rited 
frnni ;m active ancestry, in the face of defeat but not despair, ip.nno- 
diately (h'ci(U'd to otificially conduct tlie interests of the parlv at liis 
nwn expense two years longer- and until another legislature, appealed 
to, might more graciously than its predecessor, rise to an adequate 
recognition of a j)rofoundly established ])ublic franchise of incalcu- 
able vahu\ which the state by its appt'oved enactment. i)roniised the 
I'nited States of America that it would ])rotect and dcfLMid exclusively 
for the uses of a public state park. 

The fii'st official duty was to li(juidate approved contracts with 
raih-oad companies for an extinguishment of their titles within tlic 
park limits. The deeds in favor of .the state in due course of £.mple 
comi)letion were placed on record. In the name of the state the park 
connnissioner proceeded to take i)ossession of the 2,452.96 acres 
secured as the results of original contracts of concession, which he 
immediately assigned to the continuous uses of the state park as a 
j):cturesque and wholly needful addition to the park realty, situated 
principally at the locations of Nicollet and ^lavy Valley's, Itasca, 
Klk, Mori'ison and Ileruando de Soto lakes. 

In 1894 various and multitudinous duties of the park commis- 
si(mer Avere performed as shown by his official report, including the 
• «l>ening of a new wagon road from Itasca Lake to Little Mantrap 
Lake with the assistance of William McMullen and other interested 

The last official report of the first commissioner of the park was 
.•!s follows: 

State of Minnesota 


Commissioner's Office, St. Paul, Dec. L 1894. 
'1 o His Kxcellency Knute Nelson, (iovei-noi- «)f the State. 

Sir: I have the lionoi- to transmit m\' I'cport, [)ursnant to tli*^ pro- 
visions of section 8. chaptci- .')(;, Laws of 1891. 

The accompanying cliai-t. hei-eto attached aiul transmitted, is 
"•Jide a jvi-rt of this report. 


SllOKK or KLK' I. AKK. 



The chart will indicate to you tlie prcoai-ious and unsatisfactory 
corulition of the pi-ojjcrty ac<iuircd i)y the state, at Itasca hike, as a 
pcrnianont reservation. 

At tlie hist session of tlu^ legislature, an act was j)assed acccptinir 
fi'oiii tlie irovernnieut of the Tnited States a <j:rant of all the h.-nds 
witliin the limits of tlie park, not otherwise disposed of. 

An appi'opriation was also iiia(h\ to ])Ui'chase the undisposcd-of 
granted lands of the Northern }*aeific Railroad Company, and the 
(h'cds for the same have been i)laced upon record. 

This action places under state control 10.879 acres, and leaves the 
private ownershi]) of lands not purchased or condemned, 8,823 acres, 
held by .John S. Pillsbury, Thos. I^. \V.alker and the Weyerhaeuser 
syndicate. These owners are pi-eparing- to cut and market the <_:row- 
in,i>- timber on their lands. The res<^rvation is a dense forest of Nor- 
way, White and Ranks pine, with a considerable g-rowth of s]nMice. fir, 
cedar, ash, oak. elm, basswood. su^iar maple, aspen and vari(nis otlu-r 
kinds and varieties of timber and evergreens. The lands of the state 
md tlios(^ <;)f j)rivate ownership are closely intermingled and adjoin- 
ing. As soon as the timber shall have been cut from the lands h( Id by 
pi'ivate owners, the whole tract of thirty-five square miles will bec(niie 
a burned, black and denuded waste, the streams and lakes will dry up 
and f)artially disappear, and the reservoir dam necessary to di"ive the 
logs through and out from Itasca and Elk lakes into the Mississii)j)i 
river, will drown out every tree and shrub standing upon the sl\oi-es 
of said lakes. 

When the timber standing upon the lands held by the state shall 
have been burned down and droAvned out. the whole purpose and in- 
tent of tlu' law will be silenced forever, and half of some years thei-e 
will be no .Mississij)j)i i-iver tlowing out from Itasca lake. 

The only ren.edy to j)revent such a result rests in the lawful riLiht 
<»f the state to acquire, by condemnation ov othei'wise. the 8.823 acres 
not yet acquired. 

This cic([uisition, at small cost, for the tract is not large noi of 
irr'eat value, will cei'tainly preserve one of the most extensive, pi^'tur- 
«'><que and histoi'ic sjiots in the westei-n hemisphei-e. 

l^etween thesi* two described conditions a dunce must now be 
iiiade. Two yeai-s' lon^^tM- dtday, and a ])ortion or all of that rc^serva- 
li«Mi will be a waste. As to the value of the park as a vosovX f(n- health. 
I'h'asure and iMM^-eation, it has a world-wide r(q)utation. and a f<'W of 
those who have visited the j)lace this season speak in unmistakable 



terms, and I append the coniinuiiications sent in answer to my in- 

A tree, sueli as now stands '^n-owin«r in the state parlv, can ))»• cut 
down and ch'stroyed in a few moments. They cannot be reproduced 
by nature in less time than two centuries. 

The responsibility now is: Shall the source of the ^lississippi 
river be i)reserved to j)osterity as a pul)lic park, or shall it be destroyed 
and obliterated forever.' 'J'he answer rests with you and the h*;is- 


The past year I have taken active steps to protect the game and 
fish within the limits of the reservation, with some success. Much 
more could have been done if the use (yf firearms was entirely pro- 
hibited there. In 1893 Indians and pot-hunters roamed all ovei- the 
park, killing every animal and fowl they came to. ]\roose, deer and 
bear suffered in the common slaughter. Xo portion of the game and 
fish ap])ropi'iation was expended thei-e, my application for the same 
liaving been denied. During this season I have personally caused an 
ample number of painted notices to be posted, warning olt* all poacliers. 
with good effect, but it must be confessed that white men very much 
dislike to be denied privileges in hunting and fishing, which teepee 
Indians avail themselves of at every opportunity. A terrific and tell- 
ing destruction of moose and deer has taken place at and beyond 
Itasca lake the past twenty-four months, regardless of all law. .Moose 
meat has been more plentiful than beef. The howl of hounds has been 
heard in ever^^ direction in the chase, and fish nets have been set pro- 
niiscuously. One firm at Bemidji lake had about thirty fawn saddles 
ready for shipment on the first day of Xovend3er of this year. 

I caused the arrest of several ])arties at Park Rapids for illegal 
hu!iting and fishing, and uj^on a criminal comi)laint by me against 
one Foster for hunting deer and seining fish at Xaiwa lake, llul)l)ard 
county, with others, one of whom was shot and killed at said lake. 
Sheriff ^loran took possession of their seines in the month of June 
last and made no return to the state whatevei- therefor. Circumstance^ 
of this kind do not encourage i)roseeutions. 


On the 27th cLa^- of Octobci- last I discovered and located on the 
shores of Itasca lake the unmistakable remains and relics of a lost 



villa^'c of piM'liistorie Mound-Huildi'is. Stone and copper iiiij)ltMiu'nts 
and a enrions and iniscellaneous collection of broken pottery were 
taken from l)(do\v the sui'face of the irround upon lot 2, section '2. town- 
ship 14)i, rani^^e 36, and an adjoining' ti'act on the nortli end of tlie 
lake. It would appear that this "lost villa<re was nearly a lialf mile in 
lenvrth, and the fact that the deposit of relics is now foiuid helow the 
present sui'face of the eartli several inches, sei^ns to justify the belief 
that this extinct race of men proceeded to. discovered and resided at 
Itasca lake many centuries ago, but as to an exact date when these 
known occurrences took place, a further and more extended exam- 
ination is necessary for an intelligent guess. I append a small sketch 
map of the locality, sufficient for present information and until an 
accurate chart of the premises can be made. 


I desire to call your attention to the fact that the entire labor 
and expense of this office has been performed and paid by me without 
any reind)ursement whatever. The bill for my relief at the last session 
of the legislatnre was held in the possession of Senatoi* ('. S. Crandall 
or his committee for many days, and until it was too late to be con- 

There is a limit to enduraiice. I am, sir, 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant. 


Several appendices were attached to that report and the wliole 
was published ^larch 22nd, 1895. in pam]>hlet form, and for insertion 
in the current Executive Documents. 

From those appendices the following curtailed ([notations ai'c 
here reproduced : 


A Condensed Statement Intended to Preserve an Abbreviated Record 
of Proceedings Which Resulted in the Formation and Establish- 
ment of the State Reservation at the Source of the Mississippi 
River as a Public Park, and Some Subsequent Proceedings Under 
the Park Law, Including a Statement of the Services Performed 
by the Commissioner. 

On the 27th day of October. 1894, the ("onnnission.M- of the State 
Park discovered and located tln^ site of a lost village of prehistoric 




Ori^rinnlly nanuHl Dani^er Lak<- ir. 1889. Clianged to Drminj? Lakr in 1S99 in 
Ijonor of Hon. P. C. Deruing. 



An uiiiiUMiidered boily of water at the l»a"<»' of tlio lii^Hiest hill witiiin the 
Itasca Basin. 



]\Iound Builders at the north end of Itasca hike, and marked tli<' site 
by tlie erection of an oak tablet, properly inscribed and painted. 

« * * • 

Briefly stated, the actual j)ossession of the Itasca basin may bo 
approximately iriven as follows: 

Pre-trbieial a«:es— possibly palaeolithic man. 

Post-frbicial j)eri()d — the Mound-15uilders. 

Tlie succeediiiir occupancy — the Sioux Indians. 

Tlie Columbian period — the S{)anish. 

Post-Cohuubian period — tlie French and English. 

The XVIIth or XVIIIth Century — the Ojibway Indians. 

The XVIIIth Century— the Federal Republic. 

Feb 22, ISoo- ceded, by treaty between the L'nited Stat(\s and the 
Ojibway Indians. 

1876-1891 — surveyed by the government and open to pioneer 
settlement; Peter Turnbull and family and others. 

1891 — set apart by law and dedicated as a public pai-k foj-cvcr. 

The Ojibway treaty of Feb. 22. 1 855. was entered into at the city 
of Washington by Ceo. AV. ]\Ianypenny, commissioner on the part of 
the United States, and the following named chiefs and delegates, rep- 
resenting what was then called the ^lississippi bands of Ojibway In- 
dians, who then occui)ied and claimed the territory surrounding; the 
headwaters of the ^lississippi : 

Indian Name. English Name. 

Pug-o-na-ke-shick Ilole-in-the-day 

Que-we-sans-ish Bad boy 

Wend-e-kaw Little Hill 

Be-sheck-kee -. . ; Bufl'alo 

I-awe-showe-we-ke-shig Crossing Sky 

Petud-dunce Hat's LivtM- 

Mun-o-min-i'-kay-shein Kice .Makei- 

^[ah-yali-ge-way-we-durg The Cho.'ister 

Kay-gwa-(buish The Attempter 

Caw-cang-e-we-goon Crow Feather 

Show-baush-king Passes under Ev(M-ylhinu 

Aish-ke-bug-e-k(xshe Flat Mouth 

Xay-bun-a-caush Young Man's So!» 

Mang-e-gaw-l)o\v Stepping Ahead 

Mi-gi-si Eagle 

Kaw-be-nnd)-be<' North Star 



Somo of these Indian names are «riven (litt'ei-mtly in olhei* of tl.«'ii- 
several treaties with the federal irovernnient. 

[In 19()() a determination was reaelied hy a series of arehaeoloijic 
oxamijiations in Minnesota, indieatinfr {positively that the monnd- 
huildinir period and the Sioux oeeupaney at Itasca lake were iden- 


lsS9-J)0 Survey sf;1.47(i.(iU 

TiiiK^ actually employed from May, 181J1, to May, 1892, both 

inclusive, 318 days 1,590.00 

Kxpcnse account, 1891, to June 1, 1892 — 

OUice I'ent, Cund)crland block and Scliuttc block 105.00 

Miseellaneous expenses for the month of ,May 6.25 

Kxpcnse account for June and July-- 

Kailroad fares for abstracts of title 24.32 

Hotel bills 11.25 

Tram and subsistence. Avith one man examininfj^ ninety-five 

sub-divisions of land 110.00 

Auirust — One copper map plate for i-eport to Governor Mer- 

riam 40.00 

KxjK'iises to park and return Avith trout 45.90 

l*'»sta«i:e stamps 25.00 

September— Printing maps and report at Pioneer Press job 

rooms '. . 49.57 

<)'-tober and Xovendpcr— Transportation to State Pai'k and 

return, subsistence, with one man and team, examining 

3()8 tracts of land 135.75 

1 >'-c('mber— Cost of line of levels from I'ailroad tract at l*ark 

Kai)ids to sui'face of the watei- at Itasca J.ake and retui'U 

«'Xpens(^s 50.00 

Januai-y — Typewriting (Miss Dassel) 40.(HJ 

Postage 10.00 

March-Paid draftsman foi- lettiM-ing (Mr. Jewctt ) 20.(M) 

.May — Ti-ans|)ortation to park and return and subsistence, 

with team 58.00 






Atid- llie death of William McMiilleii in ISIKS. Mr. WeKinaini roninieiiced aii<l 
continued the entertainment <>t travelers and tourists, supplantini: the 
McMulIen accommodations which lor many years were cabin hra-i- 
(luarters for the travelin«r pnhlic. 

He is also a irame warden for the state, havinj^ .sjM-cial authority l(» prevent 
|>oachers from trespassinu' against paik pamr and lish. 



June 1 to Dec. 31, 1892. 

Time nctnnlly employed from .Iiinc 1 to Dee. 31, 18!)2, with 
corre.sixnulciKH', contracts, compilations of reports. pi-oof- 
readiii^r, procurinpr certificates from Tiiitt'd States land 
offices at St. Cloud and Crookston. ^linn.. and vai-ious and 

miscellaneous official duties. lOS days 840. do 

Office i-ent. from June to I)ecend)er. 1892. both inclusive.... 49. on 
June, 18!)2— Expense account, one trip to State Park' and 

return 21. in 

August— Expense account 4.00 

Septend)er— Expense account 4.00 

October— P^xpense account 4.(M) 

November— Expense account " 3.80 

Postage 6.00 

Expenses to Crookston. ^linn. and return 21.10 

December— Expense account 3.20 

Office rent for 1893 (iO.OO 


IVo days in May, adjusting land grant by deed fi'om North- 
ern Pacific Railroad Company and the i-ecord fees at 

register of deeds' office 13.00 


During my absence from the state in 1893, nuirauders, poach- 
ers, Indians and fishermen overran tlie i)ai-k and its 
waters, killed ofl' the game, netted the fish in Itasca Lake, 
built stables for their horses fi'om timber cut from the 
lands of the state, and in many ways deseci-ated the 
premises in a lawless mannei-. to such an extent that I 
felt it my duty to post painted notices throughout the 
park, warning off' these unlawful trespassers. Fifty of 
these notices liave been posted, atid landmarks showing 
the boundai'ies of the pai-k and the ])enalties foi* trespass 
have been er(M'ted. The last week in October. 1894, I 
fomul a cajiip of hunters in the vei-y cent!-e of the park', 
with a season's hay put u{) for their team, and a stable 



eoMstiMicted from tlie dense })i'a?icli(*s of cvei-LrfccDs. .\r;niy 
j»rec;nitions n.irainst firo were tnkeii by me, ms a r«'snlt of 
which no fires swept tlirouirh the \)i\vk (hiriiiir the dry 
season of 1804, and the tiijiher remains ititaet. and l)nt 
sli«:litly damaficd in one or two ontside hx-rditics. The 
hi^diway tlirouirli the pai-k is now the lii»rliway of miiirra- 
tion, and thonsands of peoj)h' are i-apidly settliiiLr upon 
^rovernnient lands noi-th of the park, and down tlie Miss- 
issippi river toward Benndji Lake. The county connnis- 
sioners of lluhl)ai-d county haviTiii- laid out a county road 
from Park Rapids to the State Tark in XovendxM- last, 
with a volunteer force of settlers, I caused this road to 
be opened a })or'tion of the distance in jrood oi-der. to 
lessen the obstructions to travel. The time occupied in 
these last desci-ibed j)recautions for irood order and the 
preservation of the })roperty of the state from May 1 to 
Xov. 21, 1894, was as follows: In ^lay. twenty-six days: 
July, six days: August, six days: October, twenty-six 
days, and Xovend)er. twenty-six days. durin«r whi(di last 
mentioned time I made my formal report to (iovcrnor- 
Xelson for the two years endinjr Deeeniber 1st last, in all 

ninety days 4.')0.00 

Incidental expenses duriuy said time 52.20 

Total Ji^3,85:i()4 

This sum total does not include the cost of my surve\' and ex- 
••iiniriation niade in 1889 and' 1890. all of the results of which have 
COMIC into the possession of the state by the act of mer<i:ing lit icin- 
l>efo!'e stated, when (iovei-nor Mei-riam and the state printei- callfd 
lor the results of said survey and examination, by whi(di. with my 
<*»»nscnt. the whole thei-eof became the property of the state Of the 
eost of this first sur'vey, the Historical Society, by its trt'asurcr. |»aid 
•"fl->0, ;ind 1 paid the balance, receiving nothini:- for si-rvices pei-f >rmed. 
Suicc the date of my appointment as connnissioner no sum whatever 
hjLs been paid for- my sei-vices and expenses, on the pai-t of the state, 
or !>y any individual whomsoever, and the whole amount stati d is 
justly my due. 



<'nsr (4 tho 1880-fJO siirvc^y .i;1.47(J.<><i 

\\ v .liciii ;iiul expiMis.'s 1801-92-93-94 3,8:>3.04 

Total 4=^.32!).()4 

l'ai<l hy t\w Historical Soci(ny .^loO.OO 

I'aid hy the state OO.UO 

] 50.(10 

Halaiice. my due .$5,1 7!). 4 

(Jovernoi- Xelson in his hist iiiessaue. n^'en-iiiLr to tlie [)iwk, s-iid: 


"Fi'oiii the re])ort of the eoiniiiissioiier of Itasca State Parle, iiiadt' 
on the 1st day of last Deeeinber. it appears that the state has aeoinred 
llie o^vnel•sllip and control of 10,870 acres Avithin the limits of the park, 
and that there are still within these limits 8,823 acres, owned by pri- 
vate^ [)arties and scattered in tracts of various sizes amonu' the state 
lands, that outrht to l)e acquired by thi^ state. These lands ai-e cov- 
ered with a A'aluabh' forest of pine, spruce, tir, cedar, ash and oalc, and 
the ownei'S are likely at an early day to cut and market this tiinlx-r. 
When these lands have been stripped of theii- timber tlu-y arc the 
easy j)i-ev of forest tires, and a fire breakin,!:- out upon them will inevi- 
tably sj)read to the other lands of the park, and thus the whol? area 
will become a burnt, black and desert waste, and will cease to atfor*! 
any safeiruard or pi-otection to the source of our miiihty rivei*. 

''The le*rislature of 1801 acted wisely and with rai-e iz'ood jud^iriiient 
when it established this j.ark. Itasca LaK'e a!id its [)reservat ion is 
sacred ^iiul dear to every Amei'ican lieart. The lake and all its 1m au- 
liful environment should, as far as possible, be kept intact in its primi- 
tive and normal condition; and in order to accomplish this, the lands 
in private ownershi{) should, as speedily as possible, be accpiired by 
the state. These hinds can be obtained neither by purchase nor by 
condemnation pr-oceedinus until the necessaiy fluids are provided for 
that pur-pose. Tiie work ])lanned by the leizislatin'e of 1801 should be 
ennsunnnated and comi)leted by the leirislature of 180."). 1 commend 
'his subject to your favorable consideration, and recommend that yoii 



fippi'opriatc sufficient t'uiKls to acMiiiirc these lands by piiicliase nr eon- 
tlcmnatioii.' ' 

The session of the lej^nslature for ISI)."). convened at St. Paul, 
^rinn., January Sth. The inessajre of the ^rovernor placed tin' inter- 
ests of the state park fairly and concisely before the two houses 
for their consideration and action. 'I'he park connnissioner drew a 
comprehensive measure j)i-oposinir neinh^d amendments to the j)ark 
law and adequate api)ropriations to meet the expenses and costs there- 
tofore incuri'ed and for a l)e<;jrinnin^'^ to convert private holdings of 
land within the pai'k to pul)lic uses by condemnation proceedings. Hy 
reference that bill fell into the keepin<r of Mr. .1. F. Jacobson and Mr. 
C. F. Staples, mend)ers of the committee on i)ublie lands for the house. 
Their knowledge of the interests of the state at Itasca Lake was very 
limited. However, they assumed to tiike charge of the bill on a mo- 
tion of Mr. Jacobson befoi'e the committee that the act be substituted 
by a bill to be drawn by a sub-committee. The ])ark connnissioner was 
offered a tritle more than fifty per of his per diem and disbursements 
for four years' services. 

The offer was abs(^lutely and promptly declinetl. 

An attack in vituperative and disrespectful language was all the 
consideration which the park commissioner i-eceived for his four years' 
labor in perfecting the establishment of the j)ark. 

His refusal to submit to the dictation of ])re.iudiced, dictatorial 
liiembei's of the committee in no way endangered tlu^ park, for tln^y 
could not in any manner whatsoever undo, cancel or abandon the 
cause of the state in its pai'k holdings. In due time the substitut*^ l)ill 
was brought into the house favorably reported for passage, minus any 
provision to condemn lands or pay the park connnissioner for services 
and expenses. A step forward was made by })roviding an annual 
salary of six hundred dollars and a thousand dollar cottage for the 
l)ai-k connnissioner. The i-t'fusal to j)i-ovide UK^ans to condenni pi'ivate 
lioldings of lands promptly, was deliberately and intentionally ad- 
hered to. At that date the value of tind)er at Itasca Lake did not 
exceed -t^.oO pei- thousand feet and nuich of it could be shown to be of 



l. ss vjiliio on Mcroiint of claiiiaircs hy fire and isolation. Tlu' rt-fiisal in 
l^!)r>. clictatod by Mr. .Ia(M)l)sori and Mr. Staples, to pi-ovid(» an ap- 
|.!opi-iation to meet the exixMises of condiMiination pi'oceedin^'s for tht* 
roMversion of the j)rivate lioldinus of hmd at tlie pai'k. will eventually 
(•<»st the state over .^100.000.00 to covei- the increase in the values of 
slandinu: timber between tlie dates 189.") and 190'), a very expensive 
.laeobson-Stapies proposition for tlie j)eople of Minnesota to cneountei- 
for tlie i)reservation of their state ])ark and the adjustment of its com- 
l»lete(] area. The substitute bill passed the lionse March IDth. In the 
st'uate it lay under an avalanche of bills ready to expire foi- want of 
tinu' to consider them. By a fortunate circumstance Mr. John Cooper 
and Mr*. \Vm. K. i^ee were interestcMl in placin*i' an impecunious i)oliti- 
eal friend named Whitney in the park connnissioner 's ot^ice at the 
sahn-y of .+1)00 j)er annum. On motion of Senator Fuller, who was not 
otherwise interested hi the bill, it was called up under a suspension 
<tf tile rules and passed April ^'Jnd. whei-eupon it was api)roved by the 
u«)vernor- Ai)ril 2oth. 

That action placed Itasca State l*ark in the political machineiy of 
the state, one of the emoluments of the executive department each two 
years term. 

Since April 25th, 189,). the park has been in the hands of poli- 
ticiafis with i-esults wliich seriously menace its stability and mar its 

In due couse of time Mr.. A, A. Whitney was appointed pai-k c«)in- 
iiiissioner for the term of two years, connnencin^- Api'il 2."). 18:)."). by 
<''overnor Clontrli. The commissioner built a cottaiie on the east short^ 
«»f the Xoi'th Ai'm of Itasca I^ake and occupied it for f(Mir y(\ars. 
l)ui-in«jr his incundxmcy the park i-emained at a complete standstill, 
subject to various innovations by lumtiuir pai'ties who estabiisln'd 
their camps at many localities within the park limits. A lo*^- ba»-n was 
eoustiMicted, some «rronnd broken for a uarden, and altoueth'-r the 
•'stablislnnent was a home for ^tr. Whitney, an unproiiressive, indigent 
person wlio received the favors of political fi-iends whom he had vari- 
ously served. 






Only one brief report by Mr. Whitney can l)e found in tlie arehivcs 
nj' the state. 'J'he oii-eunistances of record wliich led up to that 
slionld be liere minutely detaih'd. (iovernor Nelson in his niessa^^e to 
ih(^ h\Lrislature. January Dth. 18!).'). for-inally reeof^nized tlie ini{)ortan('»'' 
• tlie park in tlie words found at page five in the oriirinal document 
!n*rein})efore republislied. 

^[r. Whitney was eoniniissioned to take charjre of all the interests 
of the park :\ray 25th. 1895. 

December 1st. 1896. the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners. 
:?t page six of the printed report made the following recommendation: 

Our experience as a commission, coupled with the observation of 
wardens and those who liave had the opportunity, fully shows that tlu^ 
value of our State Park in Hubbard County as a preserve for larg*? 
name, and the commission would urue upon the legislature the enlarge- 
ment of this park and affording it watchful care and patrol in the 
interests of game protection generally. As in this park any molesta- 
tion of the game is prohibited, the overflow should go largely to stock 
other portions of the state suitable for that purpose. 


State of ^[iuTiesota. 
Itasca State Park, 
November 28, 1896. 
To His Excellency David ^l.'Clough, Governor of the State of ^linne- 
sota : 

^*>ir': I have the honor to transmit my re[)ort pursuant to House 
File Xo. 488. session laws of 1895. 

My official duties as commissioner of Itasca State Park boiran on 
'•he 25th day of ^Fay, IS95. Immediately after which I moved with my 
tamily to the site of said State Park and entered upon the disdiari:** »»l" 
my duties and have remained thereon continuously since. 

1 began the erection of the State Vavk House under said act in tlic 
summer of 1895. but owinir to the wet season and bad roads frc^m Viwk 
Kapids to State park, \ho buildirig was not completed until ;\lay. 1^!>6. 
I •■rectrd a large and commodious house, e(^.nsisting of fourtiM'u i-ooms. 
i ht' said building is ])leasantly located on See. 2, Town 14:), Ixange .^6, 



one mile south of the noithcrn l)oim(l;i ry of tlic Stjitc Paik on the east 
shore of tlie Xortli Ann of Lake Itasca. 

The roads to State Pai-k frojii Maiiti'ap Lal\'c are in had conditioiK 
the season tln'ou*:h. a distance of ahont twelve miles, and some j)i-ovis- 
ioii should l)e made by the incoming: IcuislatniM^ for the impi-ovement 
of tlie same. 

There have been no forest fires within the limits of the State Park 
during the past two yeai-s. I would suiruest that some [)!'ovision be 
made for euttin«; out and cle;u'iniz: up around the bounilai-i(\s of said 
park in order to make an etl'ectual fire guard in the futui-(\ 


1 have made a s|)ecial etVoil under the provisions of said act to 
pi'oteet game of all kinds on said State Park and have nii't with very 
good success i!i that direction. The white luniters that came up in this 
seetiou of tlie country for the purpose of hunting have givi-n me vei-y 
little trouble arul are in<-line(l to obe\' the biws. On the other- hand 
the Indians are a constant source of annoyance aiul have to Ix' v.atche(l 
the year a?'ouiul. As the law is such at tlu- present time, as decided by 



IIm' Attorney (IciUM-al. I am powerless to arrest any one in t!ie act nf 
trespassing' withont first jiroenrinir a wari-ant and irivinL^ Ixuids t'm- 
eosls. It pi-aeti<*ally makes the law ino[)erative as fai' as my maUinL'- 
any ai'i'ests are eoneerned. as I would have to travel about twenty -rive 
miles to procure said warrant and niy ])risoners would doubtless in the. 
ii!«'antime he on the Indian R»^S(M'vation. I would suL:^M'st that the law 
l>e amended, so as to enable tlie superintendent to nndxe arrests (ui the 
spot in all eases of ties])ass. 

Mr. William MeMullen l)ein«r the only actual settler within th ' 
jtark limits and havini: ])roved up on his claim I would suyirest that 
an appi-opriation l)e made by the incoming'- le<iislature foi- tlu' i)nr- 
pose of obtaininir title to the same so as to enable the coiiimissionei- to 
I'.avt' full jui'isdietion over all lands in the park limits. 

Trustinir that my (^tlieial acts as^ submitted will be deemed t<» be 
satisfactory and meet with the approval of yotir excellency and tlie in- 
comin<r letrislature. I remain, your obedient servant. 

Park Commissionei-. 

At \m^e sixteen of (iovei-nor Clou.irh's messa<ie to the leuislaturt* 
for the year 18D7. tliei-e is a mere i-eference to the State i'ar-k. per 
i'uncto!-y in its character. In his message delivei-ed two years late!- at 
the beginninjr of the leirislative session for 1899, we look in vain for 
any reference whatsoever concernin.u: Itasca State Park. As David M. 
(-'loufrli, (lovernoi-. and A. A. AVhitney. I'ark Conniiissioner. for four 
yeai-s in conti'ol of a irreat natui-al i-esoi't. yielded to humanity a i-ce- 
ord of the responsibilities of their stewai-dship, not one single stej) in 
advance liad been accomi)lislie(l beyond the foi-mative period nnd<'r 
direction of tlie tii-st commissioner from 1891 to 18!)."). (iovernor 
('lou«;h was a lumbei'man with all that the words imi)ly. aiul deep 
(h)wn in tlie sentiments <^f *\st(HMn he entei-tained for his pi-ofession there 
was not one particle of maidy care demonsti"at(Hl for that portion nf 
Ids people who loved a ti-ee and chei-ished a park. His calling: ha<l 
fiiade him inditfei-ent toward an entei'i)i'ise whi(di consei'ved a forest as 
a timely i-escue fron> the destructive foi'ces repi-esented in the othee of 
;:overnor by David M. CloULdi. When he retired from ollice. Itasea 
State !*ai-k was bdt with wo impi-ovemeiit in its matcj'ial interests be- 
tween .January. IM*.'). and the same month in 1809. exceptiji^: the enti- 


At tlie inlet to Nicollets Middle Lcike, the Mississii)pi Kiver is two ft-et wide 
and a foot in dei)tli. iniaiediately below Nicollet Si)iings. The view is 
where the stream unites with the lake. 


slruction of a park eottacro. The critical period in tlie lif<' of that pari; 
was four years nearer to the final test for supremacy or destruction, 
lyinj? dormant awaiting the rapid approach of the lumbtM iiian witli liis 
ax and liis annihihiting disposition to despoil and destroy. 

The obstructive purposes of members of the h'gislatui-e for the 
session of 1897, who were in control of tlie appropriations committee, 
notably Mr. J. P. Jacobson and ^Ir. C. F. Staples, prevented any action 
to ameliorate the dangers which confronted the safety of the State 
Tark at Itasca Lake, by providing the necessary funds to convei-t the 
8, SIM acres held by lumbermen to the uses of the state. 

The election of John Lind as governor of Minnesota, John D. Jones 
and R. B. Brower as state senators and V. C. Deming and Dr. L. AV. 
Babcock as representatives, gave Itasca State Park a better standing 
in official circles. Each of the gentlenien named were enthusiastic 
advocates of permanency for the park. Governor Lind forcibly ad- 
vocated forestry in his message as follows: 

'*The subject of forestry is receiving considerable and well-merited 
attention in this state. As yet the time has probably not ari-ived for 
undertaking it upon the, or on the lines, that has been done in foreign 
countries and in some of the Eastern states. In fact our natural forest 
area has not yet been ascertained and cannot well be until the rei)orts 
of our geological survey have been published and fuller statistics ob- 
tained on the subject. It is useless to talk of reserving arable land 
capable of agricultural cultivatioji for forestry. Any forestry reserve 
lines established this year would undoubtedly be modified next year 
and so on continuously until the arable section of the state becomes 
pretty well defined. The most important branch of the subject at this 
lime is intelligent legislation looking to the prevention of forest fires. 
In this work, it seems to me, you should be able to secure etl'ectual co- 
operation from the owners of our pine and other forests. 

"It is timely however to adopt at this time a i)olicy that will make 
it practicable to undertake forestry culture on a large scale when we 
rrach economic conditions that make such undertakings ])raeticable. 
With that in view, 1 would recommend that provision be made for in- 



eieasin«r the cxtiMit of Itasca Park as rt'conmK'iuled l)y tlu* (iaim' War- 
den. It would also he well perhaps to [)roliil)it the alienation hy the 
State of tlie fee in the publie lands whieh iu-e eleai'ly within the perma- 
nent forestry area of the State. At this time. I thirds that tlie utmost 
that publie sentiment would uph(>ld oi* conditions justify on that sub- 
jr ct is for the State to retain title to what it lias in tliat re^rion, rather- 
than to accfuire by i)urchase. Mu(di conti'ovei-sy exists also in that 
part of the state in re^rard to the payment of taxes by the owners of 
the timbered huids. It is i)ossible that out of that condition the State 
mijrht ac(iuire title to laro-e areas by forfeiture for unpaid taxes, and 
also by voluntary conveyances from the owners. If by such means, or 
any other, that involved no j^reat outlay of money, the state could be- 
come possessed of the title to lai"«^e areas in the permanent forest area 
of the State, it would certainly be wise foresi<;ht to avail ourselves of 
the opportunity. The State would then have the lands when scien- 
tific forestry culture becomes an imminent, practical question, as it will 
some day. On this subject, like many others, it is futile to undertake 
legislation in advance of a well defined, active public opinion. So lonir 
a? nine-tenths of our people would rather cut a ti*ee than plant one. 
time devoted to the discussion of scientific forest i-y is usually wasted. 
All we can hope to do is as I have suggested : lay the foundation for It 
in the future. The European counti-ies did this by introducing^ the 
subject in their schools early in the century. If we would create an 
interest in the subject that sludl be pi-oductive of results, we should 
do the same. ()ui- bounty plan has been ])roductive of some results, 
but the i)lan that in my (^pinion would be productive of greatest re- 
sults woidd be to requii'i' each country school district to have a large 
l»lot of ground conn«.'cted with it ui)on which the children uiuler the 
guidance of a compel ent teacher, would learn to gro\^' and love a ti'ce. 
By that means, each community would have a nursery and it would 
not be many genei-ations before our now bleak praii i(^s would present 
the appearance of ]>arks. Horticulture and forestry should be mad-' 
reguhi!' studies in our Normal Schools." 

The election of lion. Portius ('. Demini: as a membei" of the legisla- 



inrt' fi'oni the rniveisity Disti-ict of Minn«';i j)()lis proved Ix' tin* most 
fiw t iin;it«' rrsiilt of 1S!)9 nccui-iNMiccs fof tin' Stxte l*arU. ;is tlic oppnsi- 
t'on to pi'i-iii;in<*iR*y mikI prt'Si-i-vnt ion wms still piH'scnt in the house of 

.Mr. Deiiiiii.LT. on tnkinir his sent in the leirislMture. he^'^jin a systr- 
iPiiti*' inquiry eoncerninir the status of the park. One day a nii'etin.LT 
hrtween Mr. l)<Mninir and the first eoiuniissionci' of the park took j)laee 
Th'' two stranirei's to each other entered upon a detailed eon versntioii 
of all the ineidmts and eonditions sin-ronndinir the histm-y and pi-os- 
peets of that hcautiful lake and forest reserve at Itasca Basin. The 
r»'lation Ix^twi'cn the two pai'tieipants in that eonvei-sation were mark- 
edly fi'iendly and affable, hut time has proved that it forecasted im- 
|>ortant results. All the conditions of the park were looked into and 
explained. At the end of the conversati{)n Mr. Bi'owe!- asked .Mr. 
hemiiiir what, if any. interest he liad in the park. 'I'he i-eply was pei - 
haps evasive, hut thereupon Mi'. Demino di-cw and ijiti'oduced th-- 
j^t'mini: Bill into the le«iislature in the pi'esfMice of an almost invincihlc 
opposition. ]^\■ the ruh^s of the house the hill was placed in the hands 
of tlie leadinir obstructor of the stability of the park. Then tlie forces 
ai:ainst Mr. Deminir. who now becanu^ the most intiuential advocate for 
some important step forward in park' mattei-s. asserted th(> tactics of 
dflay ami obstruction. I^ut Fortius C. Deminii' knew his opponents 
and they under-estimated his ability to ovei'come their j)urj)ose to bur\' 
his bill for the i-elief of the {Kirk under an avalanche of delayed and 
pm-posely obsti'ucted proposed measui-es awaitinir the janitor's waste 
basket. One day late in the session the comnnttee on a pj)r<ipriat ions, 
on motion of Mr. Demiiii:'. was dis(diai',ued fi'om any further considei-a- 
iJon of the bill, which carried an app!-op!-iatio!i of .^'21, 000. 00 foi- Itasc.i 
•"^tate I*ai'k. whei-eui)on. by consummate tact and eneJ*LreticalI\- oruan- 
»/'e<l movements. .Mi-. Dt'iiiiuLr forced his bill throuLih the house and 
^'■nate, and on the 20th day of April. 1S1)!>. it was approved and became 
:» law. not wit hstandini: every opposiuLr menaci'. Itasca Stat«' Park w;i^ 
'■t-Min in the hands of its friends. 

(lOver-noi- Lind appointed Hon. W. I\ ( hristensen as park com- 



iiiissioTUM- to suooeed Mr. A. A. Whitney and a new regime, havinj,' tlit' 
t:reatt'St intcn'sts of tlio park in prospect, came into existence. 

(Governor Jolm Lind, lion. l*ortius C. Deminq:. J. H. O'Xeil. Sena- 
tor J(din I). JoiK^s. the HUtho!' of this vohiiiie. and their park fri<nids 
l.ived the sliaded liills and (hM'j) ravines about Itasca Lake, and this 
new movenient for the advancement of the State Park promised most 
<'xcellent results which were very unfortunately and seriously cur- 
t.iiled by unexplained delays in the proper and prompt execution of the 
DemintT: law. 

Durinj; the summer months of 1899 many parties of tourists visitod 
Jtasca Lake, among whom were (Governor Lind, Hon. P. C. Demiiiir, 
and the advance party of the Mississi])pi River Commission for a to{)o- 
jrraphic survey of Itasca Basin. Early in the year Mr. Deminsr per- 
sonally had secured the pi-omise of the Brainerd Lumber Company for 
a concession of one dollar per thousand reduction on the price of 
standing timber for any portion of the holdings of that lii-m and the 
further very favorable arrangement of two dollars reduction per thou- 
sand feet if the state would take all the land that company controlled 
i'iside the park limits. The provision for $1,000.00 interest on such an 
«'|>tion contained in the fourth section of the Demiuii- law was provided 
for just such an arrangement as ^Ir. Deming was enabled to secure and 
l»romptly lay before the attorney general for his immediate action and 
acceptance as the most favorable terms possible to secure on behalf of 
the state. By that advantageous concession secured by ^Ir. DtMuinLT. 
tile provisions of his own law could have been made doublx- valuable, 
but the attorney general faiU'd to adopt the ])roposal and the arrange- 
nient lapsed for want of consummation, thereby all advantaun^ as 
"iVeied was lost to the state and the park, while tlie price of standing 
tindjer was steadily advancing. 

(Jovernor Lind while at the pai'k ordered a saddle trail eut fi-om 
the wagon road at .Mary CreeU to the Source of the Mississippi and 
thenee in a circuit to the south end of the i)ark. The work was pro- 
fepdrd ^vitli at the governor's own expense. After the trail had been 


August 12, 1890. Governor .John IJnd traversed the untrailed region ahoiil 
Whipple Lake, discoveretl a massive wliite pine, and named it after 
Hon. Alexander Hamaey as a sturdy specimen of the unconquercd for» st. 

Hy some cyclonic contact the j^re.'it tree in its earlier irrowtli was twiste'l into 
corkscrew form at its upper branches which it maintains. It stands on 
the Lind Saddle Trail near Whipple J.ake. 


<'<^»iii|)l('t(Hl fjiid niik'-postt'd, a \vrittoii I'cpoi-t hound in oovovs was made 
to the ^'oviM-nor, which, on his retii'fnient tVoni oflicts was placed in th^ 
arcliivos of the historical society, where it can bo found under tlie titU^ 
(»r I.ind Saddle Trail, hy J. V. Hrowcr. 

Coinn)issioner C'hristcnsen on assuniinir cliar<i(* of the par-k p<'r- 
foj-nied a ])ul)lic service by opening: the wa«^n)n road dii-cct from the 
park liouse aloui:- the east arm of Itasea Lake to Station O. Lind Saddle 
Trail, near Mary Creek and thence to the county road leading to Park 
l?apids, by which action he corrected an egregious error on the i)art of 
those who had uselessly expended public funds openinu- a long, hilly 
and circuitous highway by way of Ocano S{)rings. On the 7th day of 
October, 1899, under direction of Govei-nor Lind and Attorney Gen- 
eral AV. H. Douglas, J. V. Brower and T. S. Finney commenced and 
proceeded with an exhaustive survey of the timber lands situated at 
tlie State Pai-k. They traveled by team with camping supplies to 
Mary Creek, where a camp was established at the pine grove between 
Mary and Itasca lakes. From October 9th to Xovend)er 21st the 
labor of estinuiting the timber was proceeded with. The time from 
November 25th until ^March 6th, 1900, Avas spent in writing a report 
of the work. On the Sth day of March, 1900, the examiners estab- 
lislied their camp at ]\[c^[ullen's cabin and continued the field work 
until Ai)ril 5th, when the camp was moved to ^lary Lake from wliich 
point the work was continued luitil com])leted, April 20t}i. On ^Fay 
9tli, 1900, a bound and completed report of the entire sui-vey was tiled 
• 11 the office of the attorney genei-al at St. Paul. ^linn. Thei-c arc also 
three closely written field books numbered 10, 11 and 12, of a sci-ifs 
containing notes of explorations in the Northwest. To make the fund 
ap|)ropriated by the Doming bill immediately available, special ad- 
vance reports on timbei' lands along the shoi'c line of Itasca Lake were 
I'lade and foi-wai-dcd to the attor-noy gencrr.l's office at St. Paul in 
order to make possible an acceptance of the offer to nnluco the i)rice 
(f ti!n})er held by the l^rainerd Lund)er Company. 

Dui'ing the months of Api'il and ^Fay. 1!H)0, under direction of 


KKEC'I KI) IN APiai>. I-.HH). 



(iovcrnor liiiul, tlh* Liiul Saddlo Trail "vvns strai«rlit(*netl and impiovcd. 
TluTe was also planted alon*: tliat trail ^'2>> qiiai-ts of white clover and 
hluofrrass seed. T\Oj)rodu(H-d pa«res of the tind)ei- reports to ^how th<' 
scop(> of the work" are pi-esented in this volume, indicnt iiiir an chihoi-- 
ate a!M-ay of information. 

At tlio bejrinning of Ai)ril. IDOO. V. S. Assistant Enjrineei* A. T. 
Morrow and party eneanijuMl at the north end of Itasea Lake, fully 
prepared to extend the surveys of the Mississippi Kiver Commission 
over the area of Itasea Basin. Lines of j)rec?ise levels. ti-ianLrulations. 
soundin*rs, and toj)OLrraphic outlines carefully travei-sed uave results 
in «;i'eater detail than had ever been aec()nij)lished at Itasea Lake and 
its nei^h))orinfr waters. The chart, of which a photographic repi'oduc- 
tion is herein presented, shows the topography on a basis of tive foot 
contour intervals. All of the important hydro<rra})hic facts indicated 
on the 1892 State l*ark chart are elaborated on the !\rississi})pi River 
Comniission chart. indicatin»r distinctly the peculiar water courses 
ft)rniing the source of the Mississippi at the trough of the basin ex- 
tending from tlie extremity of tlie west arm of Itasea Lake to .Moi-ri- 
son and Hernando de Soto lakes, as originally charted from the field 
notes of the Brower survey in 1889. There was no distinctly import- 
ant natural feature extended upon the Mississippi River Commission 
cliart of 1900 which may not be found on the i)ark (diart of 1892. 
Both eliarts are included within the covers of this volume. 

The administration of ]iark att'aii-.^ by Hon. W. P. Chi-isterisen vi«rorous and successful. His official record is characteri/.ed by 
two distinct features; the opening of the public highway from the 
state house to and along the east arm of Itasca Lake, and an ener- 
getic protection of wild game at the pai'k in the presence of opi)osi- 
t'.on which was abetted and encouraged by the county attorney of 
Hubbard county, said at the time to have been aggravatetl by the 
Jippearance of that official in defense of pe?-sons charged with ciimes 
ei.nnnitted against the rights of the state. 

Commissioner Chi'istcnsen jiiade the following report : 



Commissioner's OlTiee, 
Itasca, Minn.. Dec. 1, 1900. 

To His Exeelleney John Lincl. (Governor of the State. 

Sir: I have tlie honor to herewith transmit my second annunl 
report, ])ursuant to the provisions of section eluipter 106, Genernl 
Laws of lS9r>. 

During the past year I have succeeded in keeping out forest fires 
from the park, although conflagrations came up very close during th-^ 
dry season in the sunnner, and unless the state shall provide for a 
clearing and fire-break, to be made around the park, of about 100 feet 
in width, during the coming season, it is hard to ]n-edict how soon fire 
will destroy all the timber in the park, as the lumbennen are now cut- 
ting their timber within a mile of it. and that generally indicates 
forest fires in the spring and following sunniier. 

I have also taken active steps during the past yeai* to protect the 
game and fish witliin the park, by posting up about 600 notices in and 
around the premises, defining the outlines of the park and warning off 
all hunters and poachers, which have had some good effect: but it 
must be confessed that unless the coming legislature makes provision 
for purchasing the private land within the park, it will be hard to 
entirely prevent hunting therein, as the present park law seems to 
protect only that land of which the state is in possession. 

On April 5. 1900, I'nited States Assistant Engineers :\rr. A. T. 
Morrow, Mr. AV. G. Comber, ^Iv. Geo. II. French, and United States 
Surveyor Fred G. Kay appeared at the })ark, with a crew of men for 
the purpose of making complete -topographical and other surveys of 
the park and the headwaters of the ^lississippi river, under the direc- 
tion of the Mississippi River Commission. During their stay they 
erected Avithin the i)ark limits six (il)SLn-vatio!i towers, ranging from 
ft rty to ninety feet in height, all of which have been turned over to 
your commissioner for the use of the state. I therefore respectfully 
recommend that said towers be j)ainted, and stone foundations put 
under them, and that they be properly anchored with wire ropes, and 
otherwise protected so as to make thoux permancMit structures. 

The engineers comjilctcd their work in Octobin-, after one of the 
most thorough sui'veys evi'i- made in this rcuion. ('apt. Afason 
T*atrick, Fnited States civil (MiLrinecr. who is acting as secretary of the 
Mississippi river commission, arrived at the park Se|)tember 22d 



Wlieu (Jovernor Liiid ordered a Saddle Trail opened around tlie Source of tlie 
Mississippi, a series of si^n Itoards and mile iM)sts were erected, one of 
which near Mary Lake is shown in tiiis view. 



SECTION TOWNSEIII' 14;{. liAN(iK:^.i. 
A. I). ]'.>{}± 

Mr Edwin C. Ciainptoii aiul Mr. riar;ince L. Chester, tourists tlirough Itasca 
State I'ark. ;it the re(niesr of J. X. liiower, ascended the phitt'oriu ilhi»- 
trated ow opposite i^age to its station lh»or above the tree tops, oik* 
hundred tVet from the founihition timbers, witii a camera, securinjx a 
pliotographic reproduction of a view from the top of the platform (tn 
the hijjhest hill in the park across tiie area of Itasca liasin, lookinix 
N'orthwest from the station. 

I'lu' view on {\i\s i'a<;e is a repro<liicti<:n of the photo;;raph .secured by those 



inspect the woi-k. and he iiifoi-nu'd ini' that the iiiap (»f the lit-adwutfi-s 
and park under tlicii* direetion wouUl l)e eompleted in Ml)niit a yeai. 
and they can then he bouirlit at the actual cost oi* |)r()(hi('ti()»i. I 
tlierefore i-espectfnlly rcconiinc^nd tluit the state purciuise o.ooi^ of 
said maps, as everyone wlio visits the park is desirous of « <>ne. 
and is willing: to i)ay for same, and tlH\v could he sohl ])y tlu' com- 
niissioner of the park. 

Durin^r the past year tlic park has l)een visited l)y no h'ss tlian 
364 tourists, sightseers and health seekers, coming: from all [)arls 
of the United States, many ti-aveling several thousand miles for the 
sake of seeing- the headwaters of one of the most widely known l iveis 
in the world, and it will only he a (juestion of a short time, if the 
legislature will show a little generosity towards the improvements 
needed in the park, when it will be visited not by a few hundred but 
by thousands of people seeking knowledge. In^alth. ])!easure. and re- 

I do not believe that at this time it will be out of place to state 
that your commissioner fully comprehends that but very few people 
of the state know or realize for a moment what a grand and ])ietur- 
esque region the Itasca State Park is. and will remain as such f<H' 
future generations to come, if \)roperly cared for and protected. It is 
not large, but it is composed of the most picturestpie and character- 
istic region within the State of Minnesota, and there is not, in the 
opinion of your conunissioner, a contiguous tract of land in the connti-y 
as small as Itasca State Park where the diversified alternation of land 
and water ell'ects is so })roijiinent : nor is there a more inviting place 
within the borders of the state where the people, especially the class of 
people who cannot alford to go to the more expensive watering- places, 
can go and seek health or recreation ami pleasure. Hei-e. on the banks 
of the numerous l)eautiful lakes under the majestic pine trees, the 
people can go and camp for weeks or months and restore tluMr health: 
and if for no other reason than as stated abov(» it should l)e main- 
tained as a public park, and go down in history as a memory of the 
great river Mississij^pi and the grand pine forests, when ail other 
similar forests in the state shall have been destroyed. Jt should re- 
main as an everlasting monument and pride of the State of Minnesota 
and to the memory and lion»)r of the Historical Society of the state and 
the father of the park, the Hon. J. V. Hrower through whose efforts 
the ])ark lias so far been saved from a disastrous failure. 

The improvenu'iits which sliould he made in the pai'k should be 



with tlie view and piii-posi* to open tlie td-i-itory by roads and trails, 
ill ni'dci- to disj)lay its vai-i(Hl natural ciiarnis. 'r]i(\s»' charms of beaut i- 
jul natui-c ou<:ht always to be tho chief attraction to tlie park. This 
result can be best acconiplislu^d by allowinir your commissioner to 
cm])loy a ft*w men and tcaiiis to work in the park on roads and trails, 
and the cleaninfr out and disposinii of the dead and down tinil)cr. which 
otherwise decays, and thereby inci'cases tlie danirer of destriictive re- 
sults fi-om forest fires. 

During the month of August, 1900. the park was visited with a 
heavy I'ain and wind storm, which felled to the ground from thirty 
to for-ty thousand feet of pine tind)er. ^fany of the logs, if taken 
out at once, are still good for lundjer, and your commissioner should 
have power to dispose of them to the best advantage for the state. 

Your commissioner, who is also acting as superintendent, should 
also have the j)Ower to enact suitable rules and regulations for the 
park, relating to visitors, campers and fishing parties, and the carry- 
ing of firearms, and such other rules as would be necessary for the 
protection of the park or the game therein, with a brief statement 
of the characteristics and references of the various localities in the 
park, subject to the approval of the governor. Such rules and regu- 
lations should be printed in pamphlet foi-m, and given to visitors for 
llieir guidance. 

If it is the intention of the peoi)le of the state to make the park 
a game preserve, your commissioner will respectfully reconnuend that, 
after the clearing and firebreak is nuide around the park, that the 
whole tract be fenced in. with proj^er gates for entrance to the park 
"U the south, east, and north sides, something like the game j)reserves 
in other states, which are so erected that the deer can pass in ovei- the 
fence on the runways, but cannot pass back out. If this is not doiu' 
at as early a date as ])ossible, the deer and moose will soon be driven 
further nortli or exterminated, as it seems to the writer that the set- 
t.ers around the park take glory in killing oil* the animals wlu'U they 
.''•ppcai' out side the park, at all seasons of the year. 

Your commissioner will also recommend that, in addition to the 
I'i'-sent territory set apart for the park, a further appropriation be 
'iiade to purchase for pai'k pui'{)oses the southwest fractional (juar- 
ter of section o'), township 144, range 'Mk The state would then con- 
li'il all of Itasca lake ami the outlet of the Mississipj)i j-ivei*. This is 
"I irreat impo?-tance to the park, in order to prevent private jiarties 
damming up the lake, and thereby destroying the beautiful evergre«'n 



shores. Only for thr ('ariicst efVort made by your coininissionef with 
tlu» owner of tliis tract of land, it would have l)e»Mi sold to a hnnlx-r 
firm and a dam erected tliereon in the fall of 185.)!). ( 'oncernin<: tin- 
furtlier enhu-irement of the park your eonunissioner will make no i-c- 
eonnnendation. as the present size of thii-ty-tive squai'e miles which 
cover all of the headwaters of the .Mississippi r-ivcr*. is all that is neces- 
sary for a public park, health resort, and g:ame preserve. 

I further recommend the purchasin<r of ei^ditcen i-ow boats, to 
be placed in the lakes for the use of the i)eople visit in^^ the i)ai-k. to 
be placed as follows, to wit: P^'our in Itasca lake, two iu Elk lake, 
two in ]\Iary lake, and one each in Hernando De Soto, .Morrison, 
Mikenna, Whipple, Nicollet's Middle, Gilfillan, Clarke, Deer Park, 
Allen and Deming lakes. I also reconimend that all pi-ivate boats 
ht the lakes should be under the restriction of the commissioner. 

I will also recommend that the coming: le^rislature take action to so 
amend the park laws as to «rive your commissi(mer power to try and 
determine all cases of violation of the park laws, imposiufr fines, etc.. 
as in justice court. lie certainly should have some power as a justice 
of the peace within the state, as it is impossible to obtain a conviction 
with the justices around the ])ark. of which your pi-eseiit commission- 
er has had sad experience. 

Your commissioner also takes the liberty at this time to su^^irest 
that the coming legislature be requested to have appointed a stand- 
ing committee on parks, both in the senate and hiuise of re})resenta- 
tives, in order that all bills relating to state parks can be properl.v 
referred to said committee. 

At the last session of the legislature an act was passed appi-o- 
priating ^|^2(),000 for the i)urpose of purchasing some- of the private 
land in the park by the attorney general, under the direction of 
llie governor, which will no doubt appear in a sepai-ate report by 

An a])propriation of .t40() was also made for the ini|)rovement of 
Ilasca State Park, to be expended by the pai-k connnissioner, uiulei- 
the direction of the state auditor. Permit me to state that all ap- 
propriations hereafti'i- made should jM'ovide that the commissioner 
have authority to expend the sevei'al sums appropriated, as he certain- 
ly hi\s more knowledge conc(M-ning improvements neiuled 'he being on 
the ground) than a man sitting in the state capitol at St. Paul who 
has never seen the pai'K'. especially as the has to fui'nish 
voucliers for everything before the auditor will di*aw his warrant. 



It also sooiiis to im» that youi" coiMiiiissioner sliould Ix' put under Ixnuls 
for tlio faithful ixM'forinaiiee of his duty in order to |)i-ot<'ct the stale 
from loss. 

Tliis small sum of .^400 for improviMiiciits in the ])arl^ for a tiMiii 
of two years was expended as follows, to wit: 


For repairing;' the state house, and i)uttin,u- in a force pniiij) 
and other minor improvements in and ai-ound the state 

building ^14.i)0 

Paid to my predecessor. A. A. Whitney, for iuiiihei-. which 

he claimed to have used in the old lo<r harn 25.00 

Vov lumber, and labor on buildinii' woodshed at house 25. (]0 

United States surveyor general for plats 10.00 

For one second hand road scraper 3.00 

For teams and labor on new road opened up in park ]90.00 

IN THE YEAK 1900. 

For tools and repairing of same 9.25 

For teams and labor on new road 57.01 

Total $399.8G 

In addition to the above Gov. John Lind. after his visit to tln^ 
park in 1899, appropriated from his own funds the sum of $119. (U. 
for which your commissioner constructed a saddle trail, thirteen miles 
long, inside the park, to some of the most interesting points. 

You will therefore see from the above statement that consider- 
able improvement was done with the limited means at hand, but 
it is only in its crude state, and should be so im})i-oved that ])eople 
with teams or on bicycles could travel on these roads or trails. 

In taking possession of the state house in the {)ai'k in May, ISIMK 
I found it in such a condition that no respectable family could live 
in it; but after expending tlie sum as above stated, and by perfoiiii- 
ing most of the labor myself, such as painting and paperhangini:. I 
managed to put it in habitable shape inside for occupancy, but there 
is still more needed. The l)uilding should ])e re-shinglcd atid ])ainted on 
the outside, and a kitchen should be built; also, the cc>llai' shotild he 
properly stoned up, etc., and 1 therefore reconunend that an appro- 
priation for same be made. 

I will respectfully recommend that api)ropriations be made l)y 



the coiiiiiiLr IcirislMtui-p fo?- inipr-oveiiH'nts in Itasfa State I*ark as 
follows : 


For addition to strite house and repair arid paintinir of 


For eniployinfr men and teams to -woi-k on roads and trails 

and other improv»Mnents necessary in park 

For cutting out and clearing firebreak around the park.. 
For the purchase of southwest quarter of section 35, town 

144, range 36 

For fencing around the park with wire fence and proper 

gates at entrances 

For the purchase of road tools ' 

For the purchase of eighteen row l)oats 

For building a barn f(^r the use of the commissioner's and 

visitors' teams 


For employing men and teams to work on roads and trails. ^1^2.500.00 
For repairs and painting of buildings, and additional tools. . 200.00 

I have gone over these estimates very carefully, and I do not 
believe I have asked one cent too nuich, and I hope the legislature 
will make these approj)riations. 

In addition it will, I think, not be inconsistent at this time to 
call the attention of the legislature to the tei'rible condition of the 
road leading to the park, in llubbaj-d eounty. from Park Rapids, the 
nearest railroad town, thirty miles distant. It is in such a l^ad shape 
that at certain seasons of the year it is almost impassable, and the 
Legislature should make some appropriation for the improvement of 
sa me. 

In conclusion, permit me to say that the salai-y as now paid by 
tlie state to your resident commissioner, who is also acting as su- 
perintendent, is a mere pittance for the responsibility and labor per- 
formed by him. lie not only has gen^M-al chai'ge of the pai'k, prevent- 
ing foi-est tires a!id protecting game on a tract of dense forest land 
of tliii'ty-five scjuai-e miles, but he is also expected to entertain many 
distinguished visitors, ail for the small sum of $1)00 p(M- aiuium. at a 
location thii'ty miles from civilization and the nearest railroad town, 








i\m\ liaviiiir to frciirlit cverytliiiiL^ in'cdetl own- roads many times im- 

I find, upon inipiiry. that persons in other states pertormin^^ a 
similar duty receive fi-om if'i..')!)!^ to ."f-l.DOO per annum. I do not l)e- 
lieve that the liumblest clei-k you liave in the state capitol in St. ]*aul. 
witli all the advantaires of eity life and eivilization. receives so small 
a salary, and with no responsibility whatever, and I hope the eomini; 
legislatui'e will take notice of same, and increase the salary to an 
amount connner.surate Avith the responsible duties imposed by law. 
All of which is respectfully submitted. 

Your obedient sei-vant 

Commissioner Itasca State Park, Minnesota. 


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Beginning: at an early date in tlic per-fective period of Ita^sca 
State Park, lion. J. II. O'Xeil of Park Rapids, ^Fiiin.. iiccanic on.- of 
its warmest advocates and supporters. Tlie utter failure of Mr. Ilarry 
Hay.lett, member of the letrislature for IIubl)ard county duriui: the 
session of 1899, to represent the interests of his county, placed that 
business in the voluntary control of Mr. O'Xeil dui-in«r the entir-e ses- 
sion as a deleofated representative of Park Rapids business hkmi inter- 
ested in the success of the park. The Ilazlett tiasco paved the way for 
the election of Mr. O'Xeil to the legislature for the session of 1901, 
upon the especial issue that immediate action was necessary to rescue 
the state park from the impending despoilation of lumbermen. During 
the entire session of 1901, Mr. O'Xeil was engaged in a battle to ])lace 
on the statutes of the state a law making a standing appropriation to 
convert the land holdings of lumbermen at Itasca Lake to the uses of 
the park. The continued opposition of Mr. J. F. Jacobson. chaii-man 
of the committee on appropriations, made the result unsatisfactory 
to friends of the park, but at the last moment Mr. O'Xeil. ])y renewed 
etforts, with the aid of ^Ir. Deming and Dr. L. AV. Babcock. secured 
a standing appropriation of $5,000.00 i)er annum for park purposes, 
beginning April 13th, 1901. 

During the debate on the O'Xeil bill to establish a standinn a[)- 
propriation for park purposes the statement was repeated that lum- 
bermen were just commencing to cut theii- timber inside the bound- 
aries of the park, leaving the slashings as a great menace to all ad- 
joining park realty. With a characteristic wave of his gesticulatiiiu- 
arms Mr. Jacobson, chairman of the committet^ on appropi-iat ions, 

0, we have HEARD that ! 

And it has been heaxd with a vengeance. 

Itasca Lake, as these exj)ressive liiu's for the jxM-petuation of his- 
tory are wi-itten is tlooded, closed to public use. a loi: boom for hiiii- 
berinen, filled with millions of feet of flo;iting tiiiibcr with its sur- 
roundings, including a lo.<:ging dam on state i)ark pi-opei-ty near the 



outl«'t of Itasca l^ake, oonverted to privato uses witli no adequate pvo- 
ttM'lion to puhlie ])roperty whatsoever. The criminal hwv has Ix'eii 
opnily viohited by extended denudation of public park lands for vaii- 
ous,irin.2: roads leadin<i- to lo^: landiuirs on the shores of Itasca 
J.ake. asserted as a riiiht to holders of land who are clainiin*; an out- 
let for timber products where public rights predominate, and where 
park lands are indiscriminately damaged. 

Xo prosecuting officer has in any manner defended the rights of 
the state to an inalienable park establishment exempt by law from 
j)rivate uses for private purposes. 

Let no prosecuting officer escape the responsibility of openly per- 
mitting the destruction of public property without compensation to 
enlumce the emoluments of a devastating lumber company. 

Thousands of dollai-s in lawful fines for denuding park lands at 
Itasca Lake are collectible under the provisions of the park law. 
Those fines will remain uncollected because lumber companies have 
Siifficicnt political influence to secure innnunity from justice. 

The destruction of the natural bed of the ^Mississippi at and Ix'low 
tlic outlet of Itasca Lake which materially reduces the level of that 
hist'U'ically unique body of public water has been effected with tht' 
<'onnivance and consent of public officials. 

A statement of the facts and the publication of documentary 
evidences shall fix the responsibility for results which were loni: 
feared and finally deplored by the true advocates of an incontamin.ited 
state park established for preservation in its natural condition and 
dedicated for the advancement of the public welfare of a free peoph'. 

The publication of those documentary evidences can only be 
termed as indicating a critical period in the history of Itasca State 
I*ark which could have been avoided by the exercise of otlicial integrity 
in the conscientious performance of public duties. 

MARY II. (ilHlJS. 




Honorable AVallace B. Douirlas ^vas the Attorm-y General nf 
Minnesota from January 2, 1899, to :\Iarch 31, 1904. 

The Deming appropriation bill for Itasca State Park was ap- 
proved April 20th, 1899, whereby was provided $21,000.00 to enabh- 
the attorney general to institute condemnation proceedings for lands 
held by lumbermen at and near the shores of Itasca Lake, one thcMis- 
and dollars of which was for interest on any excess sum needed, ad- 
ditional to the amount appropriated. ^Mr. Deming contemplated the 
use of about double the amount appropriated by his bill and fullv 
provided for that contingency so that the attorney general could 
proceed to rescue the pai-k from the grasp of advancing- lumbei-men. 
Tlie explicit terms of ^Ir. Deming's proviso placing extraordinaiy 
}H)wers at the discretion of the attorney general will be found in sec- 
tions three and four of the act approved April 20th, 1899. 

On Thursday, August 10th, 1899, Governor John Lind and At- 
torney General B. Douglas arrived at the southeast extremity of 
Itasca Lake accompanied by Judge AYilliam [Mitchell and the author 
<>!* this volume, for the purpose of executing the terms of the DemiiiLT 
I>ark law. The party spent three days in an examination of the lands 
to be converted to park purposes, reaching an agreement to proceed 
forthwith, first by a detailed examination of timber lands at the pai-k 
and then additional proceedings to enforee the ternis of the Demirii: 
law. Governor Lind was the first executive to visit Itasca Lake and 
bo was enthusiastically in favor of immediate action to ]»rcscrvc tlif 



beauties of Itasca Basin from a threatened denudation of forested 

On the 3th day of October the following telegraphic message was 
received : 

St. Paul :\rinn., Oct. 5, 1899. 

J. V. Brower, 
T. S. Finney, 

Park Rapids, ^rinn. 
Go ahead and make estimate as agreed with the governor. 


Attorney General 

Thereupon the work was proceeded with until completion and 
comprehensively reported, showing the exact condition of all timber 
lands at the state park. To enable the attorney general to possess 
advance information a system of special reports describing shore 
rights at Itasca Lake was inaugurated and continued until advices 
directed a discontinuance of the same. The object of the special re- 
ports was to enable the attorney general to proceed with the enforce- 
ment of the terms of the Deming law at his earliest convenience. 
After the final timber report was filed ^May 7th, 1900, Attorney Gen- 
eral Douglas was thenceforward the legal and official authority in all 
Itasca Park matters. By mutual consent all the friends of the park 
depended upon his counsel and official action to so direct the affairs of 
the park that it might be saved from an immediately impending 
crisis. His authority over park matters was so complete that the 
park commissioner often turned to him for advice and instructions. 

One statement of importance is here made to indicate a true con- 
dition of park matters at a fixed date: On the 7th day of May, 1900, 
when the final timber report was filed with Attorney General Douglas 
preparatory to the expenditure of $21,000.00, appropi-iated expressly 
for the purpose of rescuing Itasca Lake and its beautiful shores from 
the devastating grasp of ra])idly advancing, lumbermen, not a single 
pine tree had been lumbered otV the area of the state park. The waters 
of Itasca Lake glistened in the sunlight and shadows of undisturbed 
nature inviting participation in the divine privileges of depths and 



lu'i«:hts which surrounded the source and initial course of a (in-at 
|\iver. a\vaitin<r the i)roinulfration of the decree for perpetual preser- 
vation or irreparable destruction. 

Then it was that Attorney General W. B. Douglas had the author- 
ity and the power to enforce a mandate established by law foi- the 
natural preservation of Itasca State Park which Fortius r. DeminLr 
caused to be placed in his official keeping. Xo act of contributoi-y as- 
sistance and co-operation by any true friend of the pai'lv was with- 
neld from ^Mr. Douglas. 

The first intense disappointment encountered was the neglect and 
evasion precipitated against the offer of concession secured by Mr. 
Deming from the Brainerd Lumber Coinpany reducing the i)i-ice of any 
portion of its timber one dollar per thousand, or the whole of it in 
one sale to the state at a reduction of two dollars per thousand feet. 
An acceptance of that offer meant thousands of dollars saved to the 
l)ark funds and no lumbering operations by that company at Itascn 

The offer was not accepted. 

Years have passed and any final adjustment of that estate as ;in 
entirety has been held in continued abeyance. 

It is here proposed to publish in consecutive order official docu- 
ments which show the progress of events resulting in the destruction 
of state property at Itasca Lake and the conversion of pa)-k lands to 
the uses of lumbermen. 

January 9th, 1901. Hon. John Lind retired from the office of gov- 
ernor and lion. Sanniel R. Van Sant was inaugui-ated as his successor 
in office. Governor Van Sant is one of the most extensive shipj)ers of 
logs in Minnesota. He is the third governor of the state directly en- 
gaged in logging operations. lender circumstances of that kind he 
could hardly be expected to officially champion timber presei-vatiou 
or especially urge against adverse influences the segregation of valu- 
able forest lands at Itasca Lake. He is credited with the statement, 
otten repeated, that he depended entirely upon Attorney (lenrial 
Douglas in all nuitters relating to Itasca State Park. When he Ix - 
<*ame governor he soon appointed ]\Ir. John P. Gibbs as park eommis- 



sioner to succeed William V. Christeiisen. lie also ai)poiiite(l Mr. M. 
A. Spoouer, of Bomidji, as judge of the district court for the lifteenth 
judicial district. \Vheu Park Couiinissioner Gil)bs resigned liis C(jm- 
mission in 1903. tlie governor directed Mary (Jibbs, the ex-comniis- 
sioner's daughter, to take charge of the park until a new park coni- 
inissioner was appoint(^d. 

In April, 1903. Mr. C E. BuUard was appointed park coinniis- 
sioner to succeed Mary (iibl)s. ^Fr. BuUard 's term of office will not 
expire until 1905. 


Extract from biennial report of Attorney General Douglas for 
1900. p. XXX : 

At the session of 1899, the legislature appro})riated the sum of 
twenty thousand dollars for the purpose of perfecting title in Itasca 
State Park to lands not owned by the state. For the purpose of ex- 
amining certain lands. His p]xcellency. Governor Lind, Hon. AVilliam 
^Mitchell and the attorney general visited Itasca Park in the summer 
of 1899. A large portion of the lands of the park were examined, 
and all the pine timber upon lands not owned by the state has since 
been scaled at the instance of the governor, by Hon. J. V. Brower and 
T. S. Finney, a very perfect and detailed report of which is in posses- 
sion of this office. The purchase at the expense of $1,626, has been 
made of one quartei- section adjacent to the State House in the park, 
upon which is contained a large quantity of pine. Negotiations are 
pending and nearly completed, with Hon. John S. Pillsbury, for a 
large portion of lands owned by him. The laws with reference to the 
l)rotection of game in the park are very imperfectly drawn, and I 
suggest that a new enactment be made prohibiting the carrying of 
loaded firearms, and the hunting or shooting of deer, in the park or 
within one-half mile from the outer limits thereof. 

Ditto Page XXXin. 

Existing laws a])plicable to the killing of game in Itasca State 
Park are extremely defective. I beg to call attention thereto, and 



rocoiniMeiul that an act be passed i)rohil)iting the earryin*; of loaded 
(irearnis or the hiintinjGr or killinjr of game or graiiie birds of any char- 
acter within the ireneral boundary limits of the park, and also within 
one-half mile of the outer limits thereof. 

P^xtract from biennial report of Attorney General l)ou<;las, 19(L\ 

Under tlu* authority conferred by the le^nslature. and- with the 
approval of the Governor. I purchased certain lands situated in the 
})ark of Hon. John S. Pillsbury durino: his lifetime, and subsequent to 
Ins death obtained title thereto in the name of the State of ^linnesota. 
The lands were purchased on the basis of two dollars per acre, and 
the further sum of five dollars and fifty cents per 1,000 for all pine 
situated thereon (white or Xorway). The lands are described as fol- 
lows : 

Lots one, four, five and nine of section 13, east half of northeast 
quarter and northwest quarter of northeast quarter in section 28 ; and 
lots one and four in section 15; all in township 143, range 3G. 

I have also purchased, by and with the approval of the Governor, 
what is known as the Rust property, consisting of three acres of 
ground and house situated thereon, in section 2 in said township, for 
the sum of nine hundred dollars. 

I have also caused to be condemned the north half of southwest 
<iuarter and lots one and two of section 35, township 144, range 36, 
which was attached to Itasca Park, and made a part thereof by chap- 
ter 5 of the laws of 1901. The transaction has been recently closed up 
and the title obtained in the name of the state, in consideration of the 
amount fixed by the commissioners in the condemnation proceedings 
referred to, to-wit, $1,200. 

At the session of 1901 the legislature appropriated for the use of 
this department the sum of one hundred dollars for the purpose of 
experimenting in the planting of pine in Itasca Park. The subject 
has been given careful consideration and the appropriation exptMidinl. 

Based upon the results obtained from certain experiments made 
in the spring of 1901, I caused to be transi)Ianted in March, 1902, ten 
thousand Xorway pine aggregating in Iieight from six to twelve 



inches. They were takm froin places in the \)nvk whei'e y()un«: piin' 
may be found by the tliousands, and transplanted in ])arren phiees. 1 
followed closely the reconiniendations of J. M. Underwood, Esq., of 
Lake City, wiio has had wide experience in the matter of ti-ansplant- 
mg pine, and also after consultation with Prof. Green of the Agricul- 
tural Experiment Station. The trees were transplanted early in 
March, were slightly watered and invariably placed in the shade of a 
small shrub or tree. Care was taken that the roots should be exposed 
to the air but a very short period of time. The result of the expendi- 
ture of the one hundred dollars referred to of the state's bounty is that 
from seventy-five to eighty per cent of the trees so transplanted are 
now living. 

During the spring of 1901 the Canadian Government presented 
to the State of ^[innesota three beaver, whicli I caused to be placed 
in the park. They have thriven, and during the past year have l)uilt 
two dams upon a stream in the park and prepared their wint»M' ((uar- 
ters and food for the coming winter. 

The roads have been perfected during the past year by the park 
connnissioner, who has been extremely efficient. 

Approximately $1,200 was realized by the state treasury from 
sales of down timber in the park, which were made during the winter 
of 1902 by the state auditor, the governor and myself. Pursuant to 
authority conferred by chapter 82 of the laws of 1902. this amount was 
placed in the special building fund to be used in eoiistrueting a state 
house in the park. Later a trespass was made by employes of Messrs. 
Bonness & Company, and eighty-seven thousand feet of Norway pine 
situated in the park was cut. I made a settletnent with this firm for 
such trespass ou the basis of their paying int(^ the state trensury .^11 
per thousand for the pine so cut (being double its market value' with 
the understanding that the tind)er so cut should be left in the park. 
Subsequently a foreman of this firm removed such timber and the 
claim for its value is still unsettled. 

Arrangements hav(^ been made by the park commissioner under 
the direction <^f this otfice and with the approval of the goviM-nor. for 
the sawing, during the coming winter, of rough lumber in suttieient 



amount and of the dimensions necessary to be used in tlie construction 
of the new state house contemplated by the act of the legislature al)()ve 
referred to. The owner of a portable mill in the neighborhood lias 
aprerd to haul down timber fi-om differ<Mit parts of the j)ark to the site 
of such house and saw the same in the dimensions necessary for the 

i'A( ka(;f: of idoo trees ore. ui* from one portion of the s i ate takk ANr> 


sum of $8.75 per thousand. Stone has been purchased for the house, 
and tlius a nucleus has been arranged upon an extremely economical 
basis for carrying out the wish of the l(\<rislature. 

In my .iudgmcnt the purchase of all standing pine situated in the 



park is unnecessary and would be an idle waste of money. A earefnl 
examination shows that there are hundreds of places which the pul)lic 
will never visit, and the pine in such localities can be cut and removed 
without injury. Care, however, should be taken that the tops of all 
trees cut are burned, and a reasonable appropj-iation therefor should 
be made. 

The road from the state house in Itasca Park to Park Rapids runs 
for a distance of three miles just east of and near the line of the park, 
across sections 20, 29 and 32 of township 14:3, range 35, in Hubbard 
county, through a beautiful strip of pine which clearly ought to be 
made a part of the park. I therefore earnestly recommend that the 
w^est half of the west half of the west h-alf of said sections, being a 
strip eighty rods wide, be attached to and made a i)art of the park. 
I have made arrangements with the owners of the pine situated on the 
above tract to refrain from cutting the same until after the next 
meeting of the legislature. 

The proposal in Attorney General Douglas' Report that "the 
purchase of all standing pine situated in the park is unnecessary and 
would be an idle waste of money" was an attempt to abrogate and 
make nugatory that j)ortion of the park law which declares that the 
park shall be m-aintained forever in a state of nature. 

Itasca, Minn.. Dec. 10, 1901. 

To his Excellency, S. R. Van Sant, 

Governor of Miniu^sota. 

Sir: I have the honor to herewith present my first annual re- 
port, in comj^liance with the provisions of section six. chapter 106, 
general laws of 1895. 

During the past year I have been active in protecting the game 
-ind fish within the park limits by warning otl' all hunters and poach- 
ers, also by posting 100 park notices within and around the park, 
thereby defining the outer lines of the park as nnich as possible with 
so few notices, whicli I did not receive until Xovember 5th. just five 
days before hunting season opentnl. 

During the hunting season it is very dillicult for your commis- 
sioner to look after this vast estate alone and protect tlie game. I 
therefore reconnnend four assistants during the hunting st^ison. At 



Ivast two are needed the year around. In the month of November I 
i!iade three arrests and had tlie iruilty parties prosecuted as provided 
by law. 

I have been entirely successful in keeping the park timber from 
iK'injr destroyed by fire, but unless the coming legislature makes pro- 
vision for clearing and making a firebreak at least 100 feet wide around 
the i)ark and disposes of the dead and down timber within the park, it 
will be very difficult to protect it in the future, as there are many 
logging camps in the near vicinity, and that generally indicates forest 
lires in the spring or cominfr dry season. 

During the past year the park has been visited, by about 300 tour- 
ists and sightseers, many having traveled several thousand miles for 
the purpose of visiting the headwaters of the Mississippi. 

I received from Timothy O'Leary of Canada, on August 1. 1901, 
three live beaver, which we located on Schoolcraft Island. They did 
snme work there and then emigrated to Nicollet Lake and st.^em to be 
doing well. 

])uring the past year I have had several men and teams employed 
improving six miles of the new park road by removing stumps and 
roots and constructing 500 rods of ditching and fourteen culverts. 
Seven miles of wagon trails have been cut to the observation towers. 

I have also had the under])rush cut and cleared around Elk Sj^riuL^s 
and vicinity making it more approachable to park visitors, yet pre- 
serving their natural charm, making them a beautiful and interestiuLT 

The state park house has also been much improved l)y a coat of 
paint on the interior and two coats of white lead on the exterior. The 
underbrush has also been removed from around the park house and 
lake front, adding greatly to'the attraction of the park in general. 

An approi)riation of ^fiOO. was made by the legislature for two 
years eacli, for the maintenance of Itasca Park, to be expended under 
the direction of the State Auditor. The same was expended as follows: 

Kor painting and repairing park house $7'). 75 

Kor labor and team work on roads 4*2r).50 

Tools for road work 21.35 

Labor of cutting trails and ditches 7().40 

Total $600.00 

At the last session of the leirislature an act was passed annually 
Ji|>P»<>pi*iating the sum of five thousand dollars out of any money in 



the state treasury not otherwise appropriated to be expended by tlie 
attorney general in aceordanee with pr()visi(jns of chapter 308, jzeri- 
eral laws of 1899, to facilitate and completely aeeoniplish the con- 
demnation and conversion of lands and parcels of real property situ- 
ated at Itasca Park for permanent park puri)oses. 

An appropriation of >f'50 per 3'ear for two years was made by 
the legislature to be expended under the direction of Attorney Gen- 
eral Douglas for planting and caring for pine in Itasca Park. The 
latter part of April as an experiment in forestry, I transplanted twen- 
ty-five white pine and Norway seedlings. Some were shaded, some 
partly shaded, while some were wholly exposed to the sun. 1 found 
those that were partly shaded to survive and do much the best. 
Eighty per cent of the trees are now alive. In order that I might 
give them a more thorough test I planted, eight ounces of white pine 
seed, which should produce at least 5,000 seedlings. The seed was 
planted in dilTerent kinds of soil which will give them a thorough test. 

The towers or platforms donated to the state by the U. S. Ciov- 
einment as was provided by sections three and four, chapter 215, 
general laws of 1901. have been painted with two coats of white 
lead, cabled, anchored and braced to preserve them from wind and 
decay. Precaution has also been taken to protect them from destruc- 
tion by fire, by cleaning the underbrush from around them. The 
.^280 appropriated to be expended in preserving the towers as above 

stated was expended as follows : 

White lead and oil .^118.75 

Anchor wire 6.00 

Painting 65.00 

Paint brushes 6.00 

liabor for bracing and anchors 41.25 

Team work 21.00 

Labor for clearing underbrush 22.00 

Total ^!;2S0.0() 

In October, lion. J. V. Hrower, Father of Itasca State Park, visited 
the park in company with ^Iv. J. B. Chancy of the Historical Society. 
Mr. Brower takes a great interest in the j^ai-k and I think is deserv- 
ing of great praise for his past successful etl'orts in keeping the park 
from being ,m failure. 

In conclusion I will say as my predecessor has said before me that 
the salary as now paid by the state to your commissioner who is also 



iictin^r as superintendent is much too small for the labor and respon- 
sibility performed by him. lie not only has charfre of the pai-k in <jt'ii- 
er;il, proventinir forest fii'es and i)i'ot<'etinir the !,'ame on this vast 
traet of forest land thirty-five squai-e miles in extent, bnt is also 
exjx'Cted to entertain many distiiiiruished liuests, all for tlu^ small 
sum of $600 per annum. I would therefore take the liberty to r(H'()m- 
inend an increase of salary amounting to if2.iiO() per annum and liope 
the coming legislature will take notice of same. 

All of which I respectfully submit. 

Your obedient servant, 

Commissioner of Itasca State Park. 

ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT, 'Made and entered into this 17th 
day of December, A. D. 1901, by and between S. R. Van Sant, Governor, 
AV. B. Douglas, Attorney General and R. C. Dunn, State Land Com- 
missioner, for and in behalf of the State of ^linnesota, party of the 
first part, and F. AV. Bonness, of ^linneapolis, Minnesota, and J. J. 
Howe, of Brainerd, ^linnesota, co-partners under the firm name of 
Bonness & Company, parties of the second part, witnesseth : 

That AYhereas, John P. Gibbs, Connnissioner of Itasca State Parle 
on the 5th day of December, 1901, reported in writing that he had 
sold the down pine timber in the Itasca State Park to Bonness & Com- 
pany for three dollars and fifty cents ($3.50) per thousand feet, bank 
scale, subject to the approval of the state authorities, the said sale is 
liereby ratified : 

NOW THEREFORE. Whereas, the said party of the second i)a!-t 
have on this 17th day of December, A. D. 1901, entered into a contract 
with the said party of the first part to enter upon, haul and remov^ 
all the down ])ine timber being upon Sections 35 and 3G, township 
]45, range 3b, Beltrami County, Minnesota, in said Itasca State Park, 
suitable for saw logs, during the logging season of 1901 and 190'J, 
and bank all such logs in the southwest corner of the east arm of 
Lake Itasca. 

It is further agreed, by the said parties of the second part, that 
they will not cut. haul or remove any standing timber, nor cut, injure 
or destroy any of the small standing timber. 

It is further agreed, that such logging operations shall be con- 
ducted under the directions of John P. Gibbs, Superintendent of said 



Itasca Stnt«^ Park, nnd confinod to sucli parts of said park ns lio sluill 

It is further agreed that the said pai-ty of tlie second part shall 
mark or cause to be marked all lojzs cut. hauled nv removed from 
said described land with the stamp mark MIX. in addition to sudi 
bark-mark or bark-marks 100 Ax which shall be selected by the said 
party of the second part, and recorded in the name of the State (»f 
^Minnesota in the office of the surveyor creneral for the Second Lum- 
ber District of ^linnesota. and with no other marks. 

It is further mutually agreed, by and between the parties of the 
tirst part and the parties of the second part, that all such lojrs cut, 
hauled and banked shall be scaled by the surveyor general of the 
Second Lumber District of the State of ^linnesota. and the expenses 
of scaling shall be paid by the said party. of the second part. 

In consideration of the grant, privilege and permit to enter upon, 
haul, remove and bank such down pine timber being upon and con- 
tained within the boundaries of said Itasca State Park, tlie parties of 
the second part hereby promises and agrees to pay or cause to be 
paid to the treasurer of the State of Minnesota, at the end of the lod- 
ging season of 1901 and 1002. or as soon as the logs shall have been 
scaled, at the rate of three dollars and fifty cents (.^3.50) ])er thousand 
feet of timber so cut, hauled and removed, in accordance with scale 
made by the surveyor general of logs and lumber of the Second Dis- 
trict for the payment of which we bind ourselves, our heirs, execu- 
tors, administrators or assigns. 

IX TESTIMOXY ^TEPEOF, the said parties of the first part 
and the said parties of the second part have hereunto set their hands 
in duplicate the day and year first above written. 


Attorney Oeneral. 
R. C. DUXX. 
State Land Conunissioner. 
BOXXESS cVc ( ■( ). 

In presence of : 

Swan B. Molander, 
Prank Rosche. 

The contract secured by Bonn<^ss Company finally opened the 
way for extensive danuige to Itasca Lake and the state park. A 




common mai-nudcM- named Wolf was placed in cliargre of the camp of 
Bonness & Co. on the shore of Hudd Lake. lie proceeded to bridire 
Mary Creek len^rthwise witli lo<rs to construct a h)p:fring road, establish 
two log hindincfs on park land and stole about 2n0 lofrs from adjoin- 
ing property, in the meantime stripping clean of all standing timber 
49.35 acres of land at Schoolcraft Hill, finally leaving the southeast 
extremity of Itasca Lake and its beautifully wooded shores selected as 
the site of the new park house, about as a tempestuous cyclone would 
make it appear. Wolf also constructed a logging dam . immediately 
below the outlet of Itasca Lake, which first flooded that body of 
vrater in violation of the criminal law. 

Itasca, ^linn., 
Dec. 1st, 1902. 
To his excellency S. R. Van Sant, Governor of Minnesota. 

Sir: I have the honor to herewith transmit this my second annual 
report, pursuant to the provisions of section six, chapter 106, gen- 
eral laws of 1895. 

During the year I have been active in protecting the game and fish 
within the park limits. The wild animals which were becoming almost 
extinct, such as moose, bear, beaver and various other animals are 
becoming quite numerous. Several moose and bear have been seen 
in the park during the last year. From the three beaver that were 
placed in the park a little more than a year ago have sprung quite 
a colony of workers that have built two large dams, one at the out- 
let of Nicollet Lake 196 feet long and forty-two inches in height, and 
one across Nicollet Creek fifty-eight feet long and thirty-two inches 
high, thereby converting the low ground into a small lake. They 
have also built several houses on Nicollet Lake for their winter use. 

As an experiment in forestry I transpanted 10,000 pine seedlings 
of which about eighty-five per cent are alive and thriving. This 
experiment in transplanting shows that the young pines can be culti- 
vated with great advantage. The result of pine seeding of last year 
was not satisfactory, but the small pine seedlings that spring u]) 
naturally in all pine forests can be transj)lanted in more open ground 
and can be used to reforest other lands that may be set aside for that 

A sununer kitchen has been built in addition to the park house 
and various other imj)rovements have been made. Also have had 
the dead underbrush, fallen trees and rubbish removed from School- 
craft Island, it being one of the most interesting places in th»^ park. 



It is now more approachable for park visitors. Tluu-e were between 
tliri'c and four hundred visitors at Itasca Slate l*ai'k this year. It is 
fast becoming: a resort for those who are seeking health, recreation, 
pleasure and knowledge. If the legislature will but shovx- a little 
tcenerosity towards tlie improvements needed in the park it will be 
only a matter of a short time when the park will not only be visited 
by hundreds, but thousands of people every year. Large parties come 
every year to camp on the banks of the numerous beautiful lakes under 
the majestic pines. Itasca Park in the romantic region about the head- 
waters of the ^lississippi, one of the widest known rivei's in the 
world, is composed of the most picturesque and characteristic scenes 
in the state. 

The roads leading to the park house have been greatly improved 
during the last year by removing stumps, roots and stones. I have 
made several culverts and ditches and graded several rods of road 
through the low places. 

The sum of ^600 as appropriated by the legislature for the main- 
tenance of Itasca Park for the year 1902 was expended as follows, to- 


For material and labor on kitchen $125.00 

Paper and labor for dining room 10.65 

Clearing Schoolcraft Island 35.00 

Implements and repairs on same 49.40 

Labor of men and teams on roads 379.95 

Total $600.00 

December 17. 1901. the state officials entered into a contract with 
Honness & Co. whereby some of the down timber in Itasca Park was 
sold to the latter at $3.50 per thousand for which was turned over to 
the state treasurer the sum of $1,241.76. The same was afterwards 
ni)pi'opriated bv the legislature to be used for the benefit of Itasca 

Some trespass was done in Itnsca Park for which the parties wei-e 
lined the sum of $930.40. 

In conclusion I will respectfully reconunend that a[>propriati(»ns 
be nuide by the coming legislature for improvements in Itasca Park 
as follows^ to-wit : 

For men and teams on roads and trails $2,500.00 

Poi" increase of commissioner's salary 1,200.00 

Also for four assistants during the hunting season and two dui'iuij: 



the remaindoi* of tlu' yvnw to be under the instruetioris of your super- 
intendent oi- oonnnissioncr at $30 per month. 

I am sure I liave not asked one cent too much and snieercly liope 
the legishiture will make t]u^s(» appropriations. 
All of which I respectfully submit. 

Your obedient servant, 

Commissioner, Itasca Park. 


This AGREEMENT, made in duplicate and entered into this 2!)t]r 
day of Jan. 1903, by and between J. P. Gibbs, of Beltrami County. 
Minn., party of the part, and BOXXESS COMPAXV, of Brain- 
trd and ^linneapolis, party of the second part, WITXESSETII; 

The party of the tirst part is the owner and in possession of tne 
certain tract of land situate in the county of Beltrami, State of ^Fin- 
nesota, described as follows, towit : 

These are logs that conu^ off the State Park, and are now delivered 
on Lake. 

The party of the first part, in consideration of the convenants of 
the party of the second part herein contained, and of the sum of 
four hundred dollars i,jf^4:00) to him in hand paid by the party of the 
second pai-t, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledg:ed and of the 
payments to be made by the party of the second part as hereinaftei- 
set forth, doth hereby grant, bargain, sell and convey unto the pai'ty 
oi* the second part all fifty thousand feet or more of the White Pine 
Norway Pine and Spruce timber suitable for saw logs now standing or 
being on the above descril)ed land with the privilege in and to the 
party of the second part to enter upon said land foi- the purj)ose of 
cutting and removing the same. 

Ajid for the same consideration the party of the first part dotli 
hereby agree to cut. haul, l)ank and deliver to the party of the second 
part, during the logging season of the winter of 11)02 and P)()3. all the 
saw logs that can l)e made from the timber above specified, now stand- 
ing or being on the above desci-ibed land, at the agreed jirice of ten dol- 
lars ($10.00) per thousand feet, all such logs to be banked on Itas<';i 
JiJike in Beltranii County. Minn., and boomed-rolled into watei' by sai I 
party of the first part in the spring after the same are scaled, the 
second party is to furnish all the necessa!*y boom eliains; all logs 
to be of sutTiciiuit size to scale six or less to the tliou.sand feet; and to 
be well trimmed, pi-opei-ly measui'ed and cut into ])roper lengths ami 



st;iiii|)('(l witli iit least tlircf i'-U iiiipi-fssions on cadi end with stamp to 
l>.' fufiiished l)y said second ])a!-ty. and l>ark niai-k'cd tinis: K'l. an»l 
sudi stanipinLT and hai'k niar-Uinir is to l)c done by said lii'st pai'ty 
l»cfoi-o siudi lous ai-e hauled. 

The pai'ty ot* the s'cond j)art. in consi<h'i-at ion ol" the c()venants «d" 
tlie pai'ty of the fii'st part herein contained, and of tlie sah' of the 
t:iMl)er above speeified and delivery of the h)y:s above mentioned, in all 
respeets neeordin«r to tln^ tei'ins. ])rovided, that the s-aid fiist party 
delivers all sneh timl)er and loirs to the party of the second part 
witli .irood title, frt-e and (dear of and from any and all liens and 
(diar.i^es whatsoevei'. and it is espeeially aureed that the last install- 
ment or j)aymeTit above mentioned shall not be j)ayable so lontr as any 
lien or charj^e whatsoevei- shall be or remain upon oi' auainst any such 
timber or lotrs. 

All such loci's shall be sealed by the sui'veyor ii-eneral of the *Jnd 
liimbei' district, or his deputy, and each party hereto shall pay one-half 
the scale bill. The said first party is to furnish everythinir necessary 
for the proper euttinir, luiulinu-. booniin^^ and nuirkinu of su(di loirs, 
except tlie necessary boom (diains and loi>" stain|). 

l^alances to be paid when loirs are properly bark-marked, stamix'd. 
boomed and scaled. 

It is understood and airreed by and between the ])arties hereto 
that this contract shall be in all rt^spects binding- upon and available to 
their' respective heirs, executors, administi'ators oi- assimis. 

In Testimony \Vher(M->f. The s-iid parties do hereunto set theii- 
hands the day and date first above written. 

J. P. (ilHH.S, (Seal). 
HOXNKSS ("()., (Seal;. 
Hy W. M. .Jay. 

Executed in })resence of 
A. i:. Batcheller. 


March l!»lh. liHi:?. 
Senator E. I^. Wood introduced the following-: 

Whereas, a loLTLriiiL'' dam has Ixmmi construet^'d across the .Missis- 
sippi Ixiver at the outlet of Itasca Lake on Itasca Park lauds, and the 
north arm of said lake is now a loir-.Lrinir- boom for private parties con- 
t''ai'y to the statute in su(di case made and piovided. 

Resolved that the Finance Comiiiitlee ascertain and rep(»rt .il 
o'lcc what action is nee<'ssary to protect tlu riirhts of the state and tlie 



inviolate stability of tlie Itasca State Pai-k Iroiii daiiiage and destriK.*- 
tion by floodinj; and by lo!.'i:infr operations. 

Resolved that the Attorney General is requested to furnish said 
committee copies of all pai)ers in his office relatinir to the construc- 
tion of said dam and the unlawful use of Itasca Lake for lofrgin^r 

The resolutions were unanimously adopted. 

As soon as Senator Woods' resolutions had been referred for 
action, Attorney General Douglas prepared the license to lumberjiu-n 

FLooDF:!) HV Ll'.MHKKMEX, AND 1!)()4. 

law, placinj; the same in the hands of Kt'pi'cst'ntative H. S. Hcunett 
for introduction as IL F. No. 732. March 24, 1903. The bill was 
referred to the committee on parks. When it came up for considei-a- 
tion in connnittcc three persons were present deeply interested in 
the provisions of the bill. They were Attorney (Jencra! HoiiLrlas u?-i:- 
in^r license pi'ivileircs in favor of lumbermen and l\cj)rcscutat i ve Dciii- 


iii«r aiul tlu' author of this history striviii'^' to protect tlio park fioiu 
(l»'structi()n. Mr. Douj^his and Mr. Deiiiin*,' rewrote the iiieasuri* 
vi(lin«r that no license should be <rranted without the sitrnatory consriit 
(>f the President of the Minnesota Historical Society. AVhilc Alex- 
ander Ramsey lived that provision was a safecruard airainst tlie 
destructive influences which had <;radually culininatcd as a dan*rer<nis 
menace to the state park. 


Minneapolis, Minn., June 23. VMV.l. 
Hon. W. B. Douglas, Attorney General, St. Paul, ]\Iinn., 

^fy Dear Sir: I visited Itasca Park last month for the puri)osi' of 
determining in my own mind the particular places most necessary to 
secure with the appropriations now available. Logging operations 
having at last reached it. the time has come when we must take what 
we can get and make as judicious choice as possible to the end that 
the spots of particular interest, and beauty, shall be preserved. Of 
course we all hope that most of the lumbermen will not cut over their 
land for several years yet but when we see millions and millions of 
feet already in the lake brought from half a dozen different points we 
nuist realize most fully that in order to make sure of s(une few tracts 
of great importance every moment's delay is dangerous. 

It is thirteen years since the original limits of the park were estab- 
lished, and at intervals during all that time attempts have been mad ' 
to negotiate with ^Ir. Walker, ^Ir. Weyerhaeuser and others. These 
attempts have for the most part failed and they have generally admir- 
ted that they "did not think we could get together." Now in my 
mind it will be absolutely impossible to do anything with Mr. Walker 
or with ^\v. Weyerhaueser. It would probably be the same way with 
Mr. Shevlin. You know how long it took to accomplish the Pills- 
bui-y deal, three or four years. If we o])en negotiations with soiiie 
of the others, we shall only find that we have wasted valuable time. 
H' we buy of them at private sale (were it possible), the pi-iees and e.sti- 
mates will be so high that the public will criticize us. If we <-o!i- 
demn. they will have no such ground for criticism, whatever the 
result. Besides, the tracts we need most are so divided in owner- 
ship that that is the only course to follow in order to get what we 
need most and that only. 

The tract of land around the east end of Hasea Lake it would 
V positive calamity to lose. That is the site for your new house and 

si:b.ik('T to <)VKi{ri.()\v kkom i.(>(;(;inc; i>am. 



li-(Hii point j);iths will radiate to otlici- j)oints. 'I'lic most acccssiltli' 
.•iikI the nearest |)ietin-es(|Ue reirion nieasiiriiiL:- from tli<- new site is llu- 
"Mary \'alle\'" region. I traversed its iMitii-e IcnL^lh. It is all ptivatf 
land, the lakes not heini:' meandered. Mary Lake itself is a heaiity 
fi in«:e(l with handsome j)ine. So is Demin^"^ Lak'e > foi-merl\- callfd 
DiMiirer Lakei. It is in this i-euion that the I'nited Stales (ioveiwi- 
ir.ent built the platfoi-m upon the liiirhest jioint of the j)ark. 

Another desii*able tract is the \Valker ti-aet just noi-th of tli.- 
INIlshury aCMpiisition. Still anotluM- is the tract whicdi takes in Nicol- 
let's .Middle J^ake. and the 40 acres cornei-in»i on it. This latter 4<>. 1 
l)elieve adjoins 120 aei'es which you purchased of Pillshury in the same 

As to the strip of land which was added to the park last wintei-. 
the five northern forties are very pretty hut the othei-s are exceedinuly 
poor and it seems to me -that nothiuii can he gained hy buyini: them 
now at any price. I think Mr. Brower's<»estion that if tlu' upper 
foi-ties are secured that some adjoining land on the west should he 
secured also, is a ijood one. 

But you will of course i)ardon me (you said you would) for 
presumintr to make^restions. Possibly no one save youi-self and 
.Mr. I^rowei- has taken such an intei-est in the park as I have. Four 
yeai-s a^^o last winter I secured the -i^'JO.OOO appiopi-iation and have 
devoted niy thou*:ht to the purpose of savinir the oriiiinal limits of the 
jiark as far as possible in a state of nature. And 1 feel that now. with 
the -tJ^O.OOO or so which will soon be available, we can seeure the 
choicest spots if we act at once. We made a «rood beirinninu' when you 
;.rot the ]*illsbui'y land but the results would ])e practicall\- nullified if 
we should pei-mit the beautiful JiiUs and valleys aiound Mary Lake 
and tlie east end of Itasca to be cut over. 

So. (Jenei'al Douirlas, will you j)ardon me foi' askiuL'' >'ou to bcLriu 
i»roceedin«:s to accpiire the laiul, followin^L'' i)ractically the (»?-der 
th(» numbers in the accompanyinu- list 

If you will do this. I have not a partiide of doubt but what the 
next leirislatui'e will make another appropriation for I ui'vei- saw a 
pro|)osition that apj)eale(l to the "i*ank and Hie" of that hotly m«M-e 
Ntr-on<,dy than the maltei- of securin*: the tiud)ered land in that j)aik'. 
I would furthei- su*:^'est that if you have an a i-raniremeiit with .Mr. 
Snyder to buy certain ti-acts of the IMllsbury land, that pei'ha|)s they 
will wait anothei' season for pai't (d' it if thei-e is not mnney rtiouirh 
I mention this on the assum|)tion that some of his land nuiy not be as 



importiuit to the hejiuty of the park ;is is most of tluit in the aecompany- 
ing list. 

I am only anxious to he of nssistanee to you in tliis mnttcr nnd 
will be <rlad of any eritieisms you may make on my "advice." 1 als(> 
wish you to understand that I hiyhly api)r(^eiate your interest in tin* 
j)ark. You have so many important matters on youi- hands that it is 
a Avonder that you have been able to devote so much attention to it. 
However, a .irreat deal depends on you now. This is a critical time foi- 


■} • 




It.'isca. AVe nnist act quickly ami seize the choicest treasures ere the 
lumbermen, swoopini: down, as the Assyrians, "like the wolf on the 
fold" get the start of us. 

I want to see it recorded in the "Ilistoi-y of Jtasea Park" which 
;Mr. J^rower is now writinir, for the Historical Society, that hnve 
d(»ne the best possible with the mear.s at our command. 

Sincerely yours. 





Hon. S. K. Vail Sant, 

(Jovornor of State of Minnesota. 

Sir: ]*lease aeknowledge this as my resiiznation as eoniniissifjuci- 
of Itasca State Park. I am unable to fulfill the duties of that olliee 
loiij^er on account of failing liealth. 

I liave no recommendation to make. 

Respectfully yours. 

Commissioner of Itasca State Park. 

Feb. 14, 1903. 

129 West 4th St., St. Paul, .Minn. 
Ex-Commissioner (libbs died at St. Paul, ^linn., ^londay night. 
February 16th, 1903. 


Immediately after the death of John P. Gibbs, Governor Van 
Sant verbally directed Mary II. Gibbs, daughter of the deceased com- 
missioner, to take charge of Itasca State Park. She so stated the in- 
forjiiation to the pi'csent author. As acting commissioner of the park. 
Miss Gibbs undertook to prevent the lumbering companies which had 
log booms in Itasca Lake from criminally damaging i)ark property 
l>y flooding the shore lines of It'asca and Klk lakes to the great da ma 1:1' 
of growing trees, shrubbery, evergreens, cedar and tamarac foi-csts, 
meadows, creeks and camping resorts. As the accredited rei)resenta- 
tive of tlie state she took possession of the dam in April, 1903, lioisteil 
the gates and proceeded to let oil' the floods which seriously affeet'Hl 
a large (juantity of beautifully wooded park lands includiiiir the shore 
line of Schoolcraft Island. 

Judge M. A. Spooner of the \')lh Judicial District, having juris- 
<"ction over lands of the state ])ark at Itasca Lake, omitting to take 
.mdieial k'uowledge that llie boom company wei-e trespassers upon 
I'«'irk laiuls which were pi'otected from damage l)y law, enjoined .Ma!*y 



Orlicial conespoiulence in the St:ite Aiidiioi s otlice iiulioates that David (;ilil>s. 
son of Park Coinniiesiorier J. P. (Jibhs umler tin- ille<ial contract with 
Bonness & Co., cut and sohl (inantitics of timber from park hinds. No 
prosecutions arc of r«'cord for tliat criminal »>tTcn = c. 



After Gibbs had cut the timber on State Tark lands and sold the logs to Bonness 
& Co.. the camp was dismantled and abandoned. Messrs Deming and 
Brower examined the logs and photographed the camp and landing wIum e 

, many green trees liad been cut and marketed. 






If. Gibbs from porforniiiijz her official duties in protectin*: nnd defend- 
ing the rierlits and i)roperty of tlie state as follows: 



y ss 



IMPROVE^^ENT CO^rPANY. Plaintitf. 


MARY GIBBS, Defendant. 
Hie state of ^linnesota. to the defendant. Mary Gibbs: 
WHERExVS, the plaintiff. The .Mississippi-Schoolcraft Boom & Im- 
lipovement Co. has filed a j)etition in the district court of Clearwater 
county, praying, among other thinus. that a temj^orary writ of in- 
junction issue, restraining, enjoining and forbidding the said defendant, 
her servants and agents, during the pendency of this action, and until 
the further order of this court, from, in any manner, interfering with 
the plaintiff, or its employes, in operating the dam. or conducting its 
business upon and along the ^Iississij>pi rivei*. at Section 3'). Town- 
ship 144, Range 86, county of Clearwater, and state of Minnesota, and 
restraining and enjoining and prohibiting the defendant, hrr m gents 
v.nd servants, from, in any manner, obstructing or hindering the plain- 
lift' in operating said dam and driving and floating said logs out of 
said Lake Itasca and the Mississippi river, where the same floats 
through said section, as aforesaid-, and enjoining and restraining 
and forbidding the said defendant, her servants and agents from, in any 
manner, interfering with, or threatening any of the employes of the 
said plaintift', while engaged in the performance of plaintiff's work 
on said stream, lake and dam. and enjoining, i-t^straining and prohibit- 
ing the said defendant fi-om. in any manner, molesting or destroyinir 
any of the dams or other ]>rn|)erty of the said j)laintilf, in jin\- manncj-. 
used in the cariying on the bnsiiu'ss of sluicitig, floating and drivinu' 
logs thereon, or, in any way used or employed by said plaintiff, in 
conducting its business on oi' along said stream oi' on said laki*. 

And whereas, the said injunction has been ordei-ed and allowed 
by Judge of tlie ir)th judicial district (M. A. Spooneri, Beltrami 



(•(Minty and state of ^Finnesota, on tlie filing; of a bond, duly ap[)rov('d, 
winch has heen done : 

XOW, THEREFOKE. You. and oaeh of you. the said ^Fary r;ihl)s. 
her servants and ajrents, and appointees, defendant, are hereby eoni- 
nianded and enjoitied to forthwith to refrain from, and are prohibited 
from continuintr any of the acts, herein mentioned, and especially from, 
in any manner interferincr with the said plaintiff, or its agents, em- 
ployes, in operatinor its said dam. upon the said ^Fississijipi river, sec- 
tion 35, townsliip 144. range 36, in the county of Clearwater, Minne- 
sota, in floating and driving logs through said dam and along said 
river, and enjoining, restraining and prohibiting the said defendaiit 
from interfering with or threatening any of the employes of the said 
jilaintifl', while engaged in the performance of plaintiff's work, at said 
dam, as aforesaid, and restraining, enjoining and forbidding the said 
defendant from patrolling the banks of said stream in the vicinity of 
the said dam, or, in any manner whatever from molesting, or, in any 
manner, interfering with any person engaged in or along said stream, 
in the said plaintiff's business, during the pendency of said action or 
until the further order of this court herein. 

And, this information, you will observe, under the penalty of the 


^Vitness The Honorable ]\F. A. Spooner, Judge of the District 
Court aforesaid, at Bagley, :\Finn.. this 20th day of April. A. I). 1903. 

E. H. REFF, 


Seal of Court. 




IMPROVE:\rENT COMl^VNY, Plaintiff. 


MARY (aBBS, Defendant. 

Upon reading and tiling the complaint of the plaintiff' in said 
action, and the affidavits accompanying the same, all hereto attached, 
and uj>on filing a bond in the sum of ^'yOO this day ap[)roved by mc. 
niade and executed by the plaintifY in said action, to the defendant: 



IT IS ORDERED, that a temporary writ of injunction issue in 
said action as prayed for in the coniphiint therein. 
Dated April 20, 1903. 

Judge of the 15tli Judicial District, 

Bemidji, Minnesota. 






MARY GIBBS, Defendant. 


The plaintiff coniplaininir of the defendant alleges: 

1. That the plaintiff' herein now is and at and during all the times 
hereinafter mentioned had been a corporation duly organized, created 
and existing under the laws of the State of Minnesota and that said cor- 
poration has during all the times since its organization, been engaged in 
the driving and handling of logs by means of booms, dams and otlier 
paraphernalia and apparatus in and along the ^lississippi river, and 
other rivers and waters, and during all such times has been duly author- 
ized and empowered, under the law, to improve the said ^lississippi 
river, and other rivers, for the purpose of loading, handling and driving 
logs therein, and to clear and straighten channels thereon, to erect 
sluiceways, and by means of booms, and dams to do any and every other 
act and thing authorized by law, to improve said stream and river to 
operate its works so as to render the driving of logs therein practical, 
and said plaintiff' at all such times, and especially during the times 
hereinafter stated was legally authorized to use the said ^lississippi 
river for the purposes aforesaid, and for all other lawful and proper 
purposes for which boom companies are and may be organized under 
the laws of the State of Minnesota. 

2. That the said plaintiff' for four successive seasons, including 
the season of 1903, has been operating upon the said Mississippi river, 
and other streams and waters in said county, in the manner as afore- 



s.iiti, and has. at a lari^o expense, in a lejral and proper way, improved 
the said Mississippi river for tlie i)urpose of handlinir and drivinir lo<;s 
lliereon, and the said stream, at all sneh times, has been a public hiu^li- 
way for floating logs, timber and lumber thereon, as provided foi* and 
contemplated by the laws and statutes of the State of Minnesota, and 
especially by the plaintiff herein, whieh has done every act and tliini: 
necessary by it to be done to acquire the right, and it has acquired the 
right, under the law, to operate siiid stream as aforesaid. 

That said plaintiff on or about the first day of April, 1903, caused 
a sufficient force of men to be stationed at different points along the 
Mississip})i river, between Lake Itasca, in Clearwater County, and Lake 
Irvine, in Beltrami County, to effect the prompt floating, drivinir and 
booming of the logs on said river: that in order to effect the floating', 
driving and booming of said logs, it is absolutely necessary to obtain a 
head of water on said river, by the use and operation of a system of 
dams; that the jjlaintiff for that purpose has heretofore legally co!i- 
structed and operated a number of dams between the points named, as 
aforesaid, for the purpose of stopping the water in said river until there 
is sufficient thereof above the dams to readily float the logs down said 
river; that one of the dams heretofore constructed, and now in full (q>- 
eration, is situated about one half mile from Lake Itasca, in Clearwater 
County, to-wit, on Section 35, To^^^lship 144 North, Range 36 West : 
tliat said dam is necessary in order to float and drive said logs, and s;iid 
logs cannot be floated and driven without the use of the same: that 
plaintifi' has contracted to remove about nine million feet of logs now 
in and upon Lake Itasca; that said lake is a portion of the public park 
belonging to the State of ^[innesota, and has been set aside by the legis- 
lature of the State of Minnesota for park purposes: that unless said logs 
are removed from said lake great injury nuiy be done effecting tlu' 
beauty and general usefulness of said park; that as soon as the ice upon 
said lake breaks up, so that logs can be driven thereon, it is the pur- 
pose of plaintiff to immediately remove said logs from said lake aiul 
float them down the Mississipi)i river; that on or about April 1'), 11)03. 
the defendant, with strong hand and a multitude of people, aj)proache(l 
the employes of plaintiff and demaiuled that the sluice gates of said 
dam be raised, so as to allow the water held in storage by said dam to 
escape, thereby greatly impairing the usefulness of said dam and \)vr- 
venting the driving and floating of said logs: that on April l(i. 11)03. said 
defendant again approached the emjdoyes of ])laintiff. with strong hand 



and 11 inultitndo of [x'oph*, inalieiously and AvroriLrfuIly threatened and 
intimidated said cniployes and eornnianded them airain to immediately 
raise the irates of said dam. and allow the watoi- to eseape : that said de- 
fendant bron*:]it with lier, for the purpose of further intimidating', 
ahirmino; and searinir said employes of ])hiintiff a larjre nund)er of per- 
sons, who in a loud i)(»isterons and threateninsr manner, demanded tliat 
said gates be i-aised. as aforesaid: that on aeeount of thr(»ats of proseeu- 
tion, made In- the defendant, and tliose aetin^r with and under her, as 
well as the i)i'esenee of the largfe number of persons there assembled, 
the said employes of j)laintilf were put in g:reat fear of bodily luirm; 
tliat owint*- to tlie fear en.frendered in said employes, by said acts of de- 
fendant, the w(n-k of said plaintitV, in tioatincr. driving- and sluicing said 
logs is eli'ectively impaii'ed: that at the present time, said defendant, 
and a large mnnber of persons, are almost' continuously present at said 
dam, demanding and threatening said emph)yes to such an extent that 
the driving, booming and sluicing of said logs is [)ractically at a stand- 
still; that unless the said acts of said defendant, and those acting with 
her, are restrained and discontinued, the plaintilt* will sutYer great and 
irreparable injury, for which it has no adequate remedy at law, said 
defendant being insolvent. 

WIIEKEFOKK. plaintitt' asks the judgment of this court: 

1. For a permanent injunction against the said defendant forever 
enjoining, i-estraining and prohibiting her from continuing any of the 
acts herein mentioned and especially from in any mannei- interfei'mg 
with the said plaintitt*. «»r its employes, in operating its said dam. u{)on 
the said ^lississippi I'iver. in Si'ction 35. Township) 144. Range -^(i. in the 
Count}' of Clearwater. Minnesota, in floating, and driving l(\irs through 
said dam and along said i-iver. and enjoining. !-esti'aining a!i(l forbid- 
ding the said defendant from interfering with, oi- threatening any of 
the employes of the said plaintitV while engageii in the j)erformance of 
j»laintitt"s work, at said dam as aforesaid, and restraining, enjoining 
and forbidding the said defendant from ])atrol!ing the banks of said 
stream, in the vicinity of the said dam, or in any manner wliat-soevt'r 
from molesting, or in any way interfering with any person engaged in 
or along said strt-am in the said plaintitl's business. 

2. Plaintitf asks and prays that a temporary writ of injunction 
issue restraining. •MijoiniuLT and forbidding tlie said defendant, her ser- 
vants and agents, durini: the jKMulency of this action, and until tln^ fu?*-, 
ther order of the court, from in any marnici- intci-ferini: with the {)lain- 



tifV, or its ('inployes, in (^peratin«r its said chiin. or coiKlnctinir its hiisi- 
iH'ss upon iuid aloii^' tlic Mississippi i-ivi'r, at Section .'i"), 'I'ownship 144. 
l\a!i«:e 3G, County of Clearwator, and State of .Minnesot;i, ;ind resti-;iiii- 
iii«: and enjoininp: and proliibitinir the defendant, her aircnts and s.m-- 
vants, from in any maimer ol)strueting or hinderin^r the plaintifV in 
op(M-atin<r said dniii, and driving and tioating said lo^s out of said LaUf 
Itasca, and the ^lississippi river, where the same tloats throufrli said 
section, as aforesaid, and enjoinin^;: and restrainiuL-- and forl)iddin,ur tlu* 
said defendaJit, her servants and ajrents, from in any manner interferinir 
with, or threateninir any of the employes of the said plaintiff while 
engaged in the performance of plaintiff's woi-k on said stream, lake and 
dam, and enjoining, restraining and forbidding the said th^fendant from 
in any "manner molesting or destroying any of the dams or other prop- 
erty of the said plaintiff in any manner used in the carrying on of th-' 
business of sluicing, floating or driving logs thereon, or in any way used 
or employed by said plaintiff in conducting its business on or along 
said stream or on said lake. 

3. For such other and further and general relief as to the court 
may seem just, proper and right under the circumstances. 

4. For plaintiff's costs and disbursements herein. 

Attorney for Plaintiff'. 
Bemidji, Minnesota. 

Dated, April 20, 1903. 


} ss. 


M. E. Thurston, being fii-st duly swoi-n, upon oath says that lie is 
the superintendent of the i)laintiff in this action ; that he has i-ead th<' 
complaint in said action, and that the foregoing comi)laint is true t" 
his own knowledge: tliat affiant makes this verification because |)laiu- 
tilf is a corporation and its other officers are absent from Beltr-anii 
County, wherein affiant resides and now is. 



Subscribed and sworn to before nu' this 'JOth day of Api-il. l^MVl 

11. BAILEY. 
Xotary l*ublic. Beltr-atni County. .Miruiesota. 










COUNTY OF beltra:\ii, J 


SIDNEY CORNAVELL, l)eing first duly sworn, deposes and says 
that he is an enij^loye of the Mississippi-Selioolcraft Boom Sz Improve- 
ment Company, which is en^raged in driving logs on the Mississippi 
river, and connecting lakes in Clearwater county, ^Minnesota : that 
while he was peacefully attending to his duties, as employe of said 
Company, on the 12th day of April, 1903, on the ^lississippi river, 
about one-half mile from Itasca Lake, one ^lary Gibbs, in company 
with one Theodore Wagmann, approached affiant, intimidated affiant, 
and tried to compel him to raise the gates of that certain dam across 
said river, at said place, for the purpose of sluicing logs on said river 
and lake Itasca ; that said I\Iary Gibbs, with said ^Vagmann, the latter 
pretending to be authorized by the former to act in the premises, com- 
manded affiant to open said dam and threatened to arrest and prosecute 
affiant if he did not comply with such demand; that at the time said de- 
fendant, and said AVagmann, thus intimidated affiant, affiant was work- 
ing for said Boom Improvement -Company, and had charge of the 
dam referred to: that the river upon which affiant was working on said 
logs of said Boom & Improvement Company, is a navigable stream of 
sufficient size for driving and booming logs and timber, and which is 
used for that purpose as a i)ublic highway for booming and driviuir 
logs: that in order to expedite the booming and driving of logs on 
said river, said dam is maintained by said Boom & Improvement Com- 
pany and said dam is necessary to fully effect the driving of said logs 
on said river and said lake Itasca : that on or about \Vednesday. the 
fifteenth day of .\pril, 1903. deftMidant and other persons acting for 
her, and with her, again j)resented themselves at said dam, wherr 
affiant was still in charge of the same, and in a loud, threatening, 
malicious and unlawful manner, commanded aftiant, and those w(M-k- 



iii;^' under him, to raise the shiice gates of said dam. and umh'rtook. 
without warrant of law, to arrest ^\r. A. Woods, one of tlie emph)yes 
of |)laintiiy, wlio was tlieii and there under the ordei's of atfiant i)ro- 
toctin<r the said dam, and the interests of said Boom c<: Improvement 
Company; tliat l)y threats of prosecution and arrest said Mary Clihhs. 
defen(hint, and tliose acting with her, greatly ahirmed affiant, and 
othei- employes of said Boom & Improvement Company, and did mater- 
ially obstruct, by said threats and acts the navigation of said river, hy 
said l^oom & Improvement Company, when engaged in driving logs 
as aforesaid. 

That on the 16th day of April. 1903, while affiant and other em- 
ployes of said Boom & Improvement Company were peacefully and 
lawfully performing their .several duties in watching, protecting and 
im|)roving said dam, said ^lary Gibbs, and other persons, including the 
sliei-iff of Clearwater County, by force wrongfully removed affiant and 
Joe Ikdmore, employes of said Boom & Improvement Company, to the 
village jail at Bagley, ^Finnesota. in removing affiant and said Belmore, 
s.iid parties intimidated, nmltreated and greatly alarmed affiant; tlujt 
said ]\rary Gibbs still threatens to interfere and prevent the driviuiz 
and logging of said Boom & Improvement Company upon said stream, 
and she with those with her, continued to intimidate affiant, nnd other 
employes of said Boom Improvement Company by discharging fire- 
arms and threatening to further prosecute affiant if he returns to his 
work upon said dam : that affiant is in fear of great bodily harm, unless 
said defendant is restrained from further interfering with affiant, 
while lawfully discharging his duties, at said dam for said Boom & 
Lnprovement Company. 



Subscribed and sworn to before me this 20th day of April, 1903. 

Notary Public, Beltrami County, ]^Iinnesota. 


\ ss. 


M. A. AVOODS. being first duly sworn, deposes and says that he is 
Jm employe with the Mississippi-Schoolcraft Boom lmi)i'ovement 
Gonjj)any, of l^eltranu County, Minnesota, and was employed at nil 
tinies since and including the l.lth day of A])ril. 1903; that he has 



the within iiiid t'ori'Lfoin.L'- ntVidavit of Si(lm\v ( 'oj iiwell, and Iviiows of 
his own kn<)wlt'di:<^ that the facts thci-cin stated arc true: tliat <tn ac- 
count of the threats and acts of vioh*nce of said ^Fary (Jihl)s, hr was 
prevented from perfonninL' liis duties as employe })y said l^oom v.^ 
Ini])rovement Company, and on account of tlie contiiuied threats of said 
lyrary Gibbs, he is still in fear of bodily liarm from said Mai\v Gibbs, 
and those acting with her. unless slie is in some way r(^strained from 
further and otlier acts of intimidation. 

:SL A. WO()DS. 


Subscribed and sworn to bc^fore me this 'JUth day of April. 1903. 

L. II. bailp:y. 

Notary Public, Beltrami County, Miiuiesota. 

Following- is the law Vvhich was being forcibly violated in a crim- 
i?ial manner when Judge Spooner-, by his order of injunction, pre- 
vented Mary II. Gibbs. acting park commissioner, from executing for 
the benefit of the state the mandatory statute })assed for the expi-ess 
purpose of protecting the riirhts of the people in their park possessions 
as required by the United States grant: 

Any person who shall wilfully cut, destroy or nuitilate, or who 
shall cause to be wilfully cut. destroyed or inutilated. any tree, shrub, 
tind^er. evergreen, or plants of any kind, or who shall kill, cause to be 
killed, or pursue with intent to kill, any moose, bear, deer, fox. otter, 
porcupine, mink, or other wild animal in said park, or who shall in 
any other manner without the consent of the person in charge, and 
then only with a hook and line held, in the hand, take any fish from 
the watei's of said ])ark, (•!• who shall in any manner whatsoever take 
or catch any fish in the waters of said i)ai'k for the markets of the 
state, or who shall in any manner whatsoever raise or cause to be 
raised, lower or cause to be lowered any of the lakes or streams with- 
in said park, or the waters therein; or who shall set, or cause to be set, 
any fire thei ein : or who shall in any manner whatsoever at any time 
or place within said park, wilfully hunt and cause to be dischai-ged 
any firi^arms at any animal, bird, fowl, or lish. shall be guilty of a mis- 
demeanor, and upon conviction thei-eof sludl be fined for the lirst of- 
fense fifty dollai's i.^roDi, for the second oU'ensc two huncirtMl dollars 
($200), and for the third or fui'ther olVenses he shall be fined and im- 
])ris()ned in the county jail not less than ninety days, noi* more than 
one year: and the provisions of this section shall apply to all manner 



of jn'i'sons. iTicludiiiir Indians. All olVcuscs chai-jrcd for misdemeanors. 
;is IwM-eitibcfore pi'ovided. sliall ho ti'itHl aiid detorminod under the (!en- 
eral ].aws of this state applicable to the trial of eriminal aetions in 
like causes: and whenevt'r the eonnnissioner oi* other person shall 
make complaint in writing: to the district court, oi- a .judire thereof, 
sitting forth that any sai I offenses luivc been committed, or are about 
to be committed where))y any of the timber of said park has been 
taken, or is about to be destroyed in any manner, it shall be the duty 
of the district .judirc to promptly and without delay enjoin an order 
of injunction aizainst all trespassers who in any mannei- whatsoever 
destroy or* injure, oi* wlio are about to desti'oy oi- injui'e any of the 
tiiid)er, trees, everirreens or shrubs within said park, belonging to or 
under the control of the state. 
Section 4, Itasca i*ark law. 

As soon as Miss (MI)l)s had been enjoined from protecting the 
pi'opei-ty of the state, she called loudly for help from the .Vttorney 
(ieneral's office. Thereup(.n Mr. ('. W. Somerby, assistant attorney 
general, was dispatclnnl to Itasca Lake to aid the pai-k commissioner 
in protecting the park from further damage. 

Tlu' writer has no knowledge concerning the transactions by Mr. 
Somerby. lie has full knowledge of the fact that the lumlxM-men wei-e 
lefl in undistui'bed possession of Itasca Lake, the i-iver and the dam. 
for tlie season of l!)0:^ with no fui-ther interference with their opei-- 
ations and they have since i-emained in the full and free use of state 
l)aF'k property and watei's to the exclusion of the public, and to great 
and iri-epai'able damage to public propei'ly by excessive backwater, 
flooded shorelines. d»'s{)()iled forests, ruined river-bed, utdawfully coii- 
sti-uct<'d logging roads and landings, dam excavations, and a g(Mieral 
<lestruction of the beautiful surroundings incident to the long undis- 
tui-bed pei-manency of Itasca Lake. 

On the 28th ilay of Ai)ril. .Mr. ('. K. Hullard was a|)pointed 

park commissiomM-. lie assumed the otficial duties of liis ofli«'e .May 
L)lh. Tlis appointment was dictated by Mv. .lames Martin solely for 



political reasons. It is not siirpi-ising that his administration of park 
afl'airs lias been entirely passive and according' to the disasti'ous policy 
of Attorney General Douglas. 


Of record in the Attorney (JeneraTs ofiiee at St. Paul, Miiui., thf 
following documents appear as official papers: 

December 26, 1899, deed from Benjamin E. ^Tc^rullen to the state 
for park lands , 155.75 aei'es of the ^IcMullen ranch, consider- 
ation $1,625.(X) 

April 14, 1902, deed from Pillsbury executors and heirs to the 
state for park lands, 335 acres, in sections 13, 15 and 28, T. 143, R. -Mk 
consideration $17,379.94 

October 17th, 1902, deed from Rust and Rust to the state for park 
land, three acres of the McMullen homestead, consideration .. .$900.00 

November 22, 1902, deed from Haven L\ Stewart and wife to the 
state for park lands, 152.80 acres, at the outlet of Itasca Lake. Sec. 
35, T. 144. R. 36, consideration $1,200.00 

[Lumbermen have full and free use of this pi-operty on which to 
maintain a logging dam across the Mississippi to flood Itasca and Elk 
lakes, which they constructed in the winter of 1903, cutting the stand- 
ing pine trees on said land with which to construct the dam.] 

A deed from the (ireat Northern Railway Co.. for certain selected 
swamp lands. 

The report on timber estimates showing the Brower-Finney sur- 
vey, 1899-1900. 

An extended miscellaneous correspondence. 

Transactions concerning the lands held by Thonuis B. Walker 
and the Walker-Keegan re-estinuite of standing timber, over 2,000,000 
feet in excess of the Brower-Finney estimate, or more than $12,000.00 
additional against the state, almost wholly fictitious. 


District Court, Cleaxwater County. 

The Mississippi-Schoolcraft Boom & Improvement Company 
vs. ^L'lry (.iibbs. 

Attempt to restrain commissioner State Park from inter- 
ference with dam at Lake Itasca. 

April 21, 1903, Complaint, Order and Bond and Iiijunelion made 



aiul served April 27, 1903. Petition and motion to dissolve injunction 
made by plaintitV with consent of defendant. 

A sawmill and lumber yard record. 

New state house drafts and contract. 


When the bill to license the use of Itasca Lake for lumberin<r pui-- 
poses was drawn by Attorney General Douglas it contained a clause 
permitting the governor to issue the license. In committee when that 
bill was under consideration that clause was objected to. causing the 
change which added the State Auditor and the President of the 
Minnesota Historical Society to a list of officials who were to have 
power to license lumbering at the state park. The change was made 
to defeat the pur])0ses of indiscriminate license privileges as it was 
not believed that the state auditor would consent to the use of park 
h.nds for lumbering purposes, as he had general supervision of the 
])ark for the state. It was also known that Hon. Alexander Ramsey 
as president of the Historical Society would never sign any license. 
Unfortunately he died soon after the bill became a law and John B. 
Sanborn was elected as his successor. In September, 1908, the author 
of this volume made application in person to General Sanborn re- 
questing him to refuse his assent to any and all lumbering licenses at 
the state park. His answer was explicit and direct, in substance as 
follows: Mr. Brower, my son has just returned from a trip to 
Lake and has informed me of the serious damages to the park by lum- 
beriiig operations. I shall never sign any license for hnni)erniL: pur- at the state park unless the Council of the Historical Society 
shall first authorize such action, as I consider that I n^present the 
members of the council and as president act for them in such matters. 


WHKI^KAS, The Brainerd Lumber rom[)any is the owner of cer- 
tain land and the pine situated thereon, in the NJ of Section 4, Town- 
ship 143 X. of Range 36 W., a large portion of wliicli pine has l)t'i-n 
<'ut ; and is also the owner, in the aggregate, of seven hundred and 








twenty-oiulit acres of land tno;ether with the pine situated thereon, in 
sections 8, 18, 19, 20 and 30 in said Township, being outside of thr 
outer bonndary limits of Itasca State Park: and, 

WHEREAS, Prior to the adoption of Chapter 258 of the Laws of 
1903, tlie said Brainerd Lumber Company constructed two lo<rgini: 
roads in said park, one across the of sections 3 and 4 and the \\\ 
of section 2, and the otlier across sections 15 and 21 ; and, 

WHEREAS, The said Company has heretofore and will hereafter, 
refrain from cutting certain pine owned by it and situated in said park 
upon sections 24, 26 and 34 which it is important that the State should 
purchase for the purpose of preserving the Park in the condition pre- 
scribed by various acts of the Legislature: and, 

WHEREAS, It appears there is no other practical means of re- 
moving the timber owned by said Company situated outside of the 
limits of said Park except by way of Itasca Lake and the Mississii)pi 
River ; 

NOW, THEREFORE, license is granted to the undersigned to 
use tlie two logging roads above described and authority given said 
Company to haul said tind)er so situated in said sections 4, 8, 18, 19, 20 
and 30, over said roads, and deposit the same upon the ice in Itasca 
Lake during the months of XoveHd)er aiul December. 1903, and Janu- 
ary and February. 1904, and to float the same out of said lake by way 
of the ^lississippi River, at a date not later than fifteen days from and 
after the melting and passing out of the ice from Itasca Lake in the 
spring of 1904. By the acceptance of this license the Brainerd Lum- 
ber Company agrees never at any tinu^ to raise the water in Itasca 
Lake to a point where tlie water will do damage to th(^ Park propei'ty 
by means of the dam owned by it situated in the Mississippi River, 
and never at any time to close the said dam or attempt to do so during 
the sununer season, after the ice is melted and i)asses out of said lake: 
and also in consideration hereof agrees that the regulation and nuinage- 
ment of the gates in said dam shall at all times be subject to the control 
of the Park Commissioner of said Park. 

PROVIDED, The l^rainerd Lumber Company and the public 
authorities of the State of ]\Iinnesota are prior to December 1st, 1903. 
unable to agree upon the amount of pine situated upon the SWj of 
SWj of section 11, and the WA NWj of Section 14 in said Township, 
and the authorities representing the said State fail to purchase the pine 
situated thereon, or to institute condemnation proceedings for the pur- 
pose of acquiring said land, prior to said date, the said Brainerd 
Lumber Company is authorized and empowered to deposit upon the 



IOC in Itasca Lake diiriiiLr December, 1903, and January, 1904, pine 
which may be now grrowinji: tliercon. 

Given under our hands this 28th day of September, A. D. 1903. 




State Auditor. 
President ^linn. State Historical Society. 


St. Pau], Dec. 16, 1903. 

A Special fleeting of the Executive Council of this Society is 
hereby called, to be held in the Society's rooms in the State Capitol on 
Monday evening, December 21, 1903, at eight o'clock, in accoi'dance 
with Section 22 of the By-Laws of the Council, to consider an appli- 
cation of T. B. AYalker for a license to deposit timber on the ice of 
Itasca lake during the months of December, 1903, and January and 
February, 1904, and to float the same down the ^Mississippi river in 
the spring of 1904. 

The state legislature, in the session of 1903, by a law relating to 
the Itasca State Park, provided that such license may be granted by 
the Governor and Auditor of the state and the President of this His- 
torical Society. The President of the Society therefore calls this meet- 
ing of the Council to give their advice on the question of granting this 
license, and to transact an}' business that luay properly come before 
this meeting. 

By order of the President. ' 



[Copied from the Secretary's Record by Councilor Chancy.] 
''Special :\reeting, :\Ionday, Dec. 21, 1903. 

A special meeting of the Executive Council was held this evening 
at 8 o'clock, with President Sanborn in the chair. 

This meeting had been called by the President, in resj^onse to a 
written request by Councilors Brower, Fairchild, Langford, Kings- 
bury and Chancy, to consider an application of ^Ir. T. B. Walker, of 
Minneapolis, for a license to dei)osit tindjer on the ice of Itasca lake 
during the months of December, 1903, and ,]anuary and February, 



1904, and to float tin* saiiic down the Mississippi rivci' in tlio spiiiii: 
of 1904. The state leirislatnre. in llie session of 190;i, l)y a law ic- 
latinjj: to the Itasca State Park, provided that sueh license may he 
gfranted by the (iovernor and Auditor of the state and the rresidcrit 
of this Society. This nie(*tin<r of the Council was therefoi-e requested, 
and was called, in aceordance witli the wish of tlie President of tin- 
Society, that he niiirht receive the advice of the Council on the ques- 
tion of granting this license. 

The following Councilors were i)resent : 

Governor Van Sant. and lion. P. E. Hansen. Secretary of State, 
ex-officio Councilors, and Brower, Chaney, Childs, Kingsbury, Lang- 
ford, Metcalf. Sanl)orn, Stevens, ri)hani. Warren. 

Governor Van Sant si>oke brietly of the reasons seen by himself 
and the State Auditor for granting this license; objections against 
it were presented by Councilor Brower, who moved the} adoi)tion of a 
resolution as copied l)elow : and ^Ir. T. B. AValker and his son, AVillis 
J. Walker, being present, gave, at the invitation of the Council, their 
arguments for the license. 

By the request of the President, a vote of the Council was then 
taken uimn the adoption of the following resolution, which had been 
presented by Councilor Brower. 

Resolved, That it is the deliberate sense of the Council of the 
Minnesota Historical Society that the waters and land area of Itasca 
State Park should never be converted from park i)urposes to the use 
of any private i)erson or corporation for ju'rsonal gain, and the Presi- 
dent of this Socic^ty is urgently requested to refuse his consent to any 
license for such private use of public property. 

The vote was as follows:- Ayes, Brower, Chaney. Kingsbury. 
Langford, ^letcalf, 5: Xo, I'pham. W., 1. Three mend)ers who were 
present when the vote was taken, namely. Hanson, Childs and San- 
born, declined to vote: and two. Governor Van Sant and Counciloi- 
Stevens, who had been pn^sent earliei*. were then absent. 

Theri^ being no fui'ther business, the Council adjournetl. " 

Signed by the Seci-etary. 

Tlie record of the i)roceedings of the Couiu'il as above published 
fails to specify that the resolution oil'ered by Councilor Brower was 
adopted, thei-e being only one vote in the negative. 

During the debate ])receding the adoption of the resolution, Mr. 
Thonuis B. Walker made the extraordinary statement that his lumber- 


iiijT Operations constitute*) a |)ul»li(* l)nsiness which ^^avc him the i-i<^Hit 
t(» use Itasca Lake for his h>)Lr^nn<i: operations. 

Whereas, T. B. Walker is the owner of certain hmd and the pin.' 
situated tliereon, in Sections 2(i and 35, Townshij) 144 X.. Ran«i(i 3i! 
W.; And, 

Whereas, It a])pears tliat there is no other practical means of 
rdiiovino- the said timber outside of the limits of Itasca State Park, 
except by way of Itasca Lake and tlie Mississippi Rivei-: 

Now, Therefore, license is granted to the said T. H. Walker and 
authority given to haul said timber so situated in said Sections 2() and 
li'), to Itasca Lake and dej^osit the same on the ice therein during the 
months of Decembei-. 1908. and January and February. 1904. and to 
float the same out of said lake by way of the ^Mississippi River at a 
date not later than fifteen days from and after the melting and i)ass- 
ing out of ice from Itasca Lake in the spring of 1904. 

By the accL'ptance of this license the said T. B. Walker agi-ees 
never at any time to attempt to raise the waters in Itasca Lake to a 
point wliere the water will do damage to the park jn-operty by means 
of that certain dam situated in the said ]\rississipi)i River at the outlet 
(►f said Itasca Lake, and never at any time to close said dam oi* atttMiipt 
to do so during the summer season, after the ice is melted and passes 
out of said lake; and in consideration of the foregoing, the said T. 1>. 
Walkei- agrees that the regulations and management of the gates in 
said dam shall at all times be subject to the control of the Park Com- 
iiiissioner of said Itasca State Park. 

(liven uiuler our hands tlii:s r4th day of .lanuai-y, A. I). P)04. 




State Auditor. 
.lOliN 1^ SAXHORN. 
President .Minnesota Historical Society. 

Whereas, The C'rookston Lund)er Company is the owner of certain 
pine logs heretofore cut. or being cut, upon the SE. Vi and the E. 
'if the XE. Vi of Section and the E. of the SE. of Section 34, 



144-36, beintr outside of, but immediately adjacent to, tbe boundary 
limits of said Park; And, 

Whereas, said company has made application to the Governor, 
State Auditor and President of the State Historical Society for a 
license to phice the said logs in Itasca Lake and to haul the same 
across lands owned by the State of ^linnesota, situated in Itasca State 
Park, upon two certain logging roads heretofore constructed, one ex- 
tending a distance of approximately twenty rods across a portion oi 
the SE. 1/4 of the SW. 14 of Section 35-144-36, and the other a distance 
of approximately fifty rods across a portion of the SW. i/4 of the SW. 
14 of said Section 35-144-3G, and also extending across a portion of the 
NW. 14 of XW. 14 of Section 2-143-36; also to float the same out of 
said lake under such restriction as may be imposed by the said par- 
ties; And, 

Whereas, It appears there is no other practical means of removing 
the timber owned by said company situated outside of the limits of 
said park, except by way of Itasca Lake and the ^Mississippi River: 

Whereas, The said company has heretofore and will hereafter re- 
frain from cutting certain pine owned by it and situated in said park, 
which it is important that the state should purchase for the purpose 
of preserving the park in the condition prescribed by various acts of 
the legislature; 

Now, Therefore, License is granted to the undersigned to use the 
two logging roads above described, and authority given said company 
to haul said timber so situated on said Sections 34 and 35, 144-36, over 
said roads, and deposit the same upon the ice in Itasca Lake during 
the months of January and February, 1904, and to fioat the same out 
of said lake by way of the ^rississii)pi River, at a date not later than 
fifteen days from and after the melting and passing out of the ice from 
Itasca Lake in the spring of 1904. 

Given under our hands this 15th day of Jaiuiary, A. D. 1904. 




State Auditor. 
President ^Minn. State Historical Society. 
The statement by the Attorney General who prepared the licenses 
for signature tliat "Wliereas, It appears there is no other ju-actical 



means of removing the timber owned by said Company [or T. B. 
AValker], situated outside of the limits of said park, except by way of 
Itasca Lake/' is a mere subterfuge. It was fully explained at the 
meeting of the Historical Society tliat the timber was north from 
Itasca Lake and near the ^lississippi, situated where it was not neces- 
sary to despoil the state park in order to remove it, but Mr. T. B. 
Walker desired the use of Itasca Lake for a log boom and his influence 
was sufficient to secure it. 


As this volume closes at 'the date indicated at the end of the 
formal introduction preceding the sub-divisional pages, Itasca Lake is 
extensively withdrawn from public use by something more than 10,- 
000,000 feet of boomed and floating pine logs, landed during the win- 
ter of 1903-4 at various places along the East, West and Xorth arms 
of the lake by permission of the authorities who granted the licensos 
to use the Itasca State Park area, and waters, without compensation 
to the state for the extraordinary j)rivilege of convtn-ting public prop- 
erty to private desi)oilation free of charge, and exempting from 
prosecution trespassers before the law who openly destroy and jier- 
manently damage state proj.erty at Itasca Lake, sacredly dedicated 



THE MlSSrsSIPPL ls-i4-lSN. 



hy statutory iMiactmeiit to tlu* exclusive use of the people wlio have 
paid tlie eost of its estahlishuient aud niainteuanee. 

It is well known that Inst yeai* only ahout r)(H).()()0 feet of loirs 
could be sluiced throuLrh the dam n«'ai- the outlet of Itasca Lake, at 
eaeli exhausted Hush of that reservoir when it was closed and tlood«Ml 
and then opened and drawn of\\ as the lo<rs were driven out hy lumher- 



jacks, for the boom company, in the i^iiploy of lumhermeiL 

Governor Van Sant. State Auditor IversoiL President -lolin 1). 

Sanborn, and Attorney (Ji'uei-al Douiilas. wiM-e each pei-sonallv- advised 

of tliat fact by the authoi- of this volume. 

They each wiM-e infoi-med that Itasca Lake would necessarily be 

le-Hooded many times durinir the season of l!)04. while the labor ol 









sluicing ten million tVft of loys. from the booms created at Itasca 
Lake, Avas in process of completion, each i-e-tloodini: creating; addi- 
tional dama.iic to the state pai'k, impossible to repair without irreat 
public expense and the lapse of a.lonu; pei-iod of time sufficient to plant 
and raise another shore-line abundance of trees alon«r Itasca hak'* 
to take the i)lace of those killed by flooding in 1908, and obliterat"d 
by the same process in 1904. 


A tree can be desti-oyed immediately. One to take its place of 
beauty and attractiveness can be planted and nurtured in one lum- 
dred years. The policy of destroyinj; the trees at Itasca Lake to be 
re-supplied by i)lantinu: seedlings at state exi)ense is a disastrous farce, 
a demoralizinir factor prohibited by connnon sense where trees are in 
varietjated ami abundant maturity, and a shameful disgrace in an 



a«jt' of hiinijMiity which rc'ciuires much and receives but little rec«).rni- 
tion for its admiration and enjoyment of the beauties of an exclu- 
sive and naturally perfect forest reserve at surroundinjrs which wer * 
orijrinally deliirhtful and historically inspirinf?. 

Under official supervision and authority, with an ample ])ark lav. 
to protect the ri^dits of the state, the beautiful everjrreen shores ol 



Itasca Lake, Hooded and desi)oiled, are fast becomin*; a stench in th ' 
no.strils of a nation and state which have directed by law that om- 
of its most historic and health-irivin.Lr i-esorts "shall not perish from 
the earth." 

Let two overwhelmin*: facts be ever present with those who liav.' 

FOUKST scp:xe at imowKii kid(;e. 



nspired to the prroat cause of natural preservation for Itasca State 
Park, as follows : 

First. They have no reason to be ashamed of the ])urdens they 
have borne in the struggle for success. 

Second. They have a right to demand a legislative investigation 
concerning the manner in which the state park has been d»'spoiled. 
and to fix the responsibility for whatever misconduct there may have 


existed in the deplorable mismanagement of i)ark atVairs. which has 
resulted in transforming Itasca Lake into a })nuiiiscuous log l^oom. 
flooding its shores, destroying its i)ermanent beauties, dt'i>lcting itN 
outlet and greatly damaging its permanent value as a public resort, 
converted to private uses for personal gain. 

The active friends of this park movement have certain rights 

,,lta •t»i|,, 

•11 ItCII 
woo >ir 


r nVct II 

■ at* IS9 • 1 

■ i«»i.ut , 

— •'CM'H.i 

f •rut 
( - »is: 





Mild privile.iri's whicli must necessarily he enforced in some effective 
iminner in a determination to insist upon some j)rotecti(ui for tlie 
results of tlieir labor. 

The rule of law which «ruarant('es an outh-t for environed real 
property, dot^s not carry with it any i)rivile<re whatsoever, to (h'stroy 
or dama*re the property of another free of cost. 

f - 



^Fr. Tliomas H. Walker, the rei)Uted ownei- of l.OOO.OOO acres of 
pine land, more or less, near the end of his lon<; career as one of tlie 
most destructive owners of foi-est areas in the Tnited States, found 
influential public officials willinirly active in his behalf when he 
tlemanded tlie free use of Itasca Lake in his ])rivate lumbi'i-iuLr oi)era- 




tidiis on the Lri'ouiKl tliat he had h'UJil i-i.L:lits which shouhl Ix* jnu- 

What one of those officials csked concerning the legal rights of 
the state and its people? 

liy what rule of action has 'J'homas H. Walkci- and the I>rainci(] 
Lumber ('onij)any l)een awarded tlie {)!'ivilejre to destroy state prop- 
(M'ty without eonipcnsat ion ? 



When all the facts shall have l)een ascertained and pronnduated. 
estabiisliin*; the responsibility foi* the unnecessary, wanton and exten- 
sive injury to the beautiful surroundiuLrs of Itasca I^ake, othcial titles 
shall not shield the pei-petratoi's of this indijinity ajrainst tlie State 
Jmd the Nation ! 

The second edition of this volinne will need an addendum, wherein 



can bo recorded th.' i)ro«:rfss and final i-t>siilt of the LUMBERMEN'S 
DESTRUCTIVE ONSLAUGHT a-aiiist Itasca State l^ark. 

Its friends are full of hope and confidence that improved condi- 
tions can be enforced l>y activities, which they feel have been unjustly 
made imperative at personal disadvanta^re. 

That hope and confidence inspires a determination that Itasca 



Lake shall be rescued from the hands of its despoilers as a needful and 
extraoi-dinary occasion for the protection and preservation of a maLT- 
nificent public park. 


CONTRACT FOR BUILDING, Made this 18th day of Mar.'h. 
A. D., 1904. by and betW(M-n the Stati- of Minnesota. ])ai-ty of tbe 
first part, and Thomas C\ Myers and Samuel S. My.-i's. eo-partnei-s 




• !niti«,' business under tlie firm name and style of Thomas ('. Myeis 
Son, of l^ark l\ai)ids. Minnesota, j)ai-ties of tlie second pai-t. huildfi*. 

The said parties of the second part covenant and airree to and with 
the said ])arty of the first part to make, (M*eot, build and finish, in .i 
L'ood, su])stantial and woi'kmanlike manner, a park cotta<rc at a point 
to be desiirnated by AV. B. Doualas, Attoi-ney (ieneral, upon the XKi i 
of Section 24, Township 143, Ran^re 36 W., in Itasca State Park, Clear- 
water County, ^linnesota, said cotta«re to be built a^^reeably to th(» 
drau<rht. plans and specifications prepared by Clarence H. Johnston, 
architect, which are made a part hereof, and furnished by the said 
State of Minnesota to the said parties of the second part, of jrood and 
substantial materials provided for, and described in said specifica- 
tions, on or before the 1st day of Septend)er, A. D. 1904: except that 



the plunibinir, the heatinir plairt. as well as the irrout'inu' and cenjcnt 
tloor in the basement and the stainin,i»- of the roof designated and i>ro- 
vidcd foi- in said plans and specifications, are omitted from this con- 
tract. It is further agreed that the jiarties of the second part fur- 
nish all materials of the ([uality and kind designated in said s[)ecitica- 
tions for the constructi(Ui of said work, except such as by the terms 
«d said specifications are to be furnished and })rovide(l by the said 
^latc of Miiniesota. 

The party of the first pai't covenants and airrees to i)ay to said 
parties of the second part for the same, the sum of five thousand and 
twenty-five dollars (.^o.O-J.l.iH)) as follows: five hundred and fifty «lol- 
lai's (.^."ioO) thereof when the loirs to be us(h1 in the constmict ion of said 
'''>t1airc ai-e cut and delivered ui)on tht» buildinir site: fivi* hundi-cd 





dollars ($500) when the foundation is completed and building material 
for chimneys and plaster furnished and delivered on the building 
site by the contractor; the balance from time to time as the -work 
shall i)rogress, on the basis of ninety per cent (90%) of the value of 
such work and material, upon the written approval of the Park Com- 
missioner of said Itasca State Park : conditioned further that in case 
of dispute the same shall be subject to the approval of the said archi- 
tect. It is further agreed that the said building shall be completed 
f.s aforesaid, subject to the approval of the Governor of the State of 
Minnesota and the Attorney General, 

IN TESTDIOXY AVHEKEOF, The said parties have hereunto 
set their hands and seals this ISth day of ^farch, A. D. 1904. 

By: S. K. VAX SAXT, 

Governor and 


Attorney General. 
Co-partners, doing business as Thomas C. ]\Iyers & Son. 
Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of 
B. P. :\[YERS. Jr.. 


Lake Itasca. :^rinn.. April 20. 1904. 
:\rr. J. V. Brower, St. Paul, ^^linn.. 

Dear Sir: I herewith let you know that the water in Lake 
Itasca is now about three feet above normal stage, one foot higluM- 
than last spring at the time they commenced driving logs out of the 
lake, and the water is still rising. All the swamps west of the lake 
are from twelve to eighteen inches under water. All the lake shore 
trees, and all trees in the swamps will surely die out if the water is 
not let down before the frost goes out of the ground. 

The gates in the dam on the Mississippi have been closed since 
last fall. 

The dam has been raised two feet last month, by the Brainerd 
Lumber Co., so as to hold more water. 

Yours very respectfully, 

Tl 1 EODO K E ' AV VA iMA N X. 






No atteiii])t is here made to completely describe all tours of 
o])servatioii. which have taken place since 1804. at Itas«;*a Lake. M;iiiy 
(.f tlie more important visits by various and numerous parties or indi- 
viduals, should be considered as historic material worthy of ri'cord 
for future use. As several thousand resident and non-resident pei-- 
sons, tourists, investiirators. claim holders . explorers, surveyors, 
cruisers, sportsmen, lumbermen and travelers have visited Itasca Lake, 
any detailed list attempted would certainly be defective and erron- 
eous, hence only limited references at present can be best perpetuated 
in chronolooic oi-der. 

Prehistoric. At an unknown date Dakota Indians had their bark 
habitations alonji the north extremity of Itasca Lake. They used 
scaffolds for burial ceremonies, made clay vessels, stone hamnuM-s. 
Hint knives and arrow points, copper implements, and fabrics, fi-om 
threaded bark. The bones of their dead were barricaded under mounds 
of earth. The archaeolo^ric history of that occupancy has been care- 
fully observed and the evidences, charts and printed desci-ij)tions have 
been perpetuated for the Minnesota Historical Society, and at Man- 
chester, En«rland, with the ^lanchester Geotrraphical Society. Hy 
ethnologic computation it seems reasonable to determine that tln^ 
Dakotas were at Itasca Basin before and after A. I). 1()(H). All 
knowledge of the names they then used tliere seems to be lost to 
history. A ceremonious aiul uni(iue mound int(M-ment in ashes and 
ealcined bones was excavated in 1895, indicatinir the death of the 





N E-S A I" N - D A 1 1- W A X C E . 




village chief whose crania plainly revealed a foi-nier supci-ior intelli- 
gence existent at Itasca Lake. 

An Unrecorded Date. Ojibway Indians soon after or iininediatdy 
before 1750, took possession of the Dakota village site at Itasca 
Lake, which they named Elk Lake. There are remnants of occupancy 
on Schoolci'aft Island, hut no certain evidence has been discovered 



fixing the hal)itation of any white man at that resort. 

1803-4. AVilliam Mori-ison w;is at Itasca Basin accoi-dinir to his 
written statcnient printed in this volume. 

1811-12. lie was again in that i-egion. An old cellar on the bank 
of the ^rississippi. six miles down the l ivei* from Itasca Lake, is unde?-- 
stood to ])e the site of the house, whei-e the fur traders, in .Morrison's 



tiiiH% turned westward from the river to traverse the eouiitry to .\(M-th 
lied River. There may be a written statement now missing, indicat- 
ing: a visit to Itasea Lake by David Tliompson. in ISl'J. lie was an 

1832. Henry K. Scliooleraft and party of tourists including licv. 
W. T. l^outwell and Lieutenant James Allen, T'. S. A., reached Itasca 



Lake. July VMh. near Mary Creek, camped on Schoolcraft Island, and 
the next day went down the Mississippi in canoes to Cass Tiake. 

1836. J. X. Xicolh't discovered Nicollet Valley, sj^i-iuL'-s and lakes 
at the source of the M ississij)pi. 

1872. .Julius Chaml)crs discovered Klk Lake and ('ha!id>ei's Creek. 

1875. Edwin S. Hall aiul ]>arty of C S. sui'V(>yors. camped at 









Ilernnndo dc Soto Lak(\ aiul near Hall Lake, while suhdividinur T. 14:5. 
R. 36. 

1879. :\rr. A. II. Siojjrfried and pai-ty visited Elk Lake and Sie<r- 
fried Crook. 

1880. ;\Ir. 0. E. Harrison traversed the re<rion from lh-i-nand.> 
de Soto Lake to Elk Lake and Garrison Point. 

1881. Rev. J. A. Oilfillan and party, visited AVhipplo. Elk and 
Itasca lakes, holding religions services at Chambers Creek. The 
Glazier fake was initiated two months later at the same place during 
a half day sojourn in July. 

1883. Peter Tiirnbull and party opened a wagon road through 
]\Iary Valley to Itasca Lake. June 5th, 1884, :\Iary TurnhuU gave 
birth to Charley F. Turnbull. first white child born at that locality, 
at the Turnbull cabin on Lot 1. Sec. 13, T. 143, R. 36. 

1886. Hopewell Clark and party explored Nicollet Valley. 

1887. Professor T. II. Kirk and party exi)lored Itasea and Elk 

1888. J. V. Brower and two companions explored Itasca Basin. 
Their names were John Leyendecker and W. A. Avery. 

1889. ^Minnesota Historical Society survey of Itasca Basin. 
Charted by J. V. Brower for the society. AVilliam ]\kOrullen settled 
on a homestead at the north end of Itasca Lake. Warren rpham. 
geologist, explored ^lary Valley. 

1890. John Leyendecker guaged water llowage for Brower Sur- 
vey. ]\Ir. Du Val F. Polk and party of hunters and tourists com- 
menced their annual visits to Itasca Lake and the pine forests of 
Northern Minnesota. Mr. Polk's annual tours of that region were 
continued variously until 1003. Attorney (jeneral Douglas was 
occasionally with Mr. Polk's party. 

1891. Rev. Stanley A. McKay celebrated the [irivileLres of l)ap- 
tism in the waters of Itasca Lake, at the Xoi-th Arm. State Park 
topographic sni-vey by Commissioner l^i'ower. Botanic examinations 
by l*rof. (Jeo. B. Aiton. (Jlazier fake at Elk I^ake remnved M-hen 


false nieasnrements wove made for a consideration. Brook trout first 
propagated in Ocano springs and creek. 

1894. Rev. S. II. Hall Young and Rev. T. :\I. Shanafelt, D. I)., 
toured the headwaters of the [Mississippi, liolding divine services at 
Nicollet's ^liddle Lake. AVith Commissioner Brower they descended 
the Misissippi to Aitkin in a rowboat. Dr. Geo. K. ^Metcalf and son 



visited Itasca Lake and made a rowboat excursion the entire distance 
down the ^lississii^pi to Aitkin. Doctors K. Coi)eland, II. V. Ogden. 
AV. A. Batchelor and 11. V. Wurdenuum of [Milwaukee made tlu' river 
trip in single canoes from Itasca Lake to Grand Rapids. I)()ct<u- 
Klliott Coues explored Itasca Lake. Maiy ValU'v and Nicollet lak»'s. 
Several of the cxpk)rers nuMitioned made written statements of their 





views to the park comiiiissioiier for his report as herewith repiihlishoil : 

Washington, D. Oct. 20, 1894. 
Hon. J. V. Brower. Cnimnissionor Itasca State Park, St. Paul, :\Iinn., 

'yW Dear Sir: As you are ali-eady aware, I have lately returned 
from Lake Itasca, which I visited in order to be able to speak from 
personal observation concerninir the true source of the ^Iississipi)i, in 
my new edition of the expedition undertaken in 180.3-6 by Zebulon 
Pike. Allow me to bear Avitness to the fidelity and accuracy with 
which the beautiful lake and its basin are described in your recent 
report, and delineated on the accompanj'ing maps and other illustra- 
tions. I trust you will not consider me presumptuous if I venture to 
offer some sugtrestions regarding the preservation of the natural fea- 
tures of a locality so singularly interesting, whether viewed in histori- 
cal perspective, in geographical situation or in scenic effect. The park 
is readily accessible to tourists, in one day's wagoning from the near- 
est railroad terminus, has already become widely known, and is sure 
to become a resort for outings in the not distant future. Under these 
circumstances, it would seem to be a matter of necessity that steps 
should be taken to secure it from the otherwise inevitable vandalism 
cf idle excursionists, as well as from the encroachments of settlers in 
the vicinity. The record of every such reservation shows the absolute 
necessity for stringent regulations, rigorously enforced by law. to pre- 
vent unsia'htly defacement of scenic eft'ects and the destruction of 
timber and game. During my recent canoe voyage to the lake, I 
found the state game laws, Avisely as these have been framed, of prac- 
tically no effect, owing to nonenforcement ; while the lack of efficient 
forestry laws, in a densely wooded country as dry as a tinder-box, 
invited such a horrible disaster as that which overtook Hinckley and 
other towns. In the state park, a single campfire left undrowned 
might convert the Avhole beauty of the scene into a waste of black 
desolation, from which the place could not recover in half a century. 
In the great Yellowstone Park it has not been possible to prevent con- 
flagrations entirely, but the stringent regulations there enforced re- 
duce this danger to a mininuim, and in the case of so small an area 
as the Itasca park, practical immunity from fire might be secured by 
n)easures which will be obvious to you. Regulations made to this end 
might include a sniall reward for information which should lead to 
conviction of otl'enders. AVith regard to the killing of game in the 
park, I would recommend that it be absolutely prohibited at all sea- 
sons. To refer again to the Yellowstone Park, whose admirable 



police, enforced hy the military, I have closely studied, it lias ix cii 
found that wild animals speedily discover that they are safe there, and 
naturally remain of their own accord where they can live and ])reed at 
ease. "With the settlement and increasinu* j)opulation of the country 
round ahout Lake Itasca, lar^^e game will soon disap})ear without some 
such refuge: hut, the quadrupeds and birds will seek any asylum from 
persecution that may offer, such as the park could easily be made to 
afford. I judge that the injunction should extend even to the carrying' 
of firearms into the i)ai'k, under heavy penalty, together with a reward 
to informers. 

There is one other matter to which I wish to call your attention, at 
the risk of wearying your patience. This is the question of roads about 
the lake, and especially through the tract south of the lake which ex- 
tends to the Nicollet lakes and the ]^lississippi springs. The most prac- 
ticable Avay I could find from the lake to these points was far from be- 
ing an easy one, along the ridge which separates the infant Mississippi 
in XicoUet valley from the depression in which run certain feeders of 
Elk lake. The trail there is still blind and obstructed with windfalls, 
but could with very little labor and expense be made a carriage-road as 
far north as ^lorrison hill, or even be extended thence to Rhodes hill, 
with rustic bridge across Chambers creek. The two hills just said com- 
mand fine views of the lake, and a wa}' to them from the south or south- 
east should certainly be opened. The long ridge itself nuist be in the 
course of time a sort of avenue or boulevard, and the suggested im- 
provement seems to me naturally demanded. I beg to add that in my 
edition of Pike's Travels, already mentioned, I shall take the liberty of 
calling this Brower ridge, and trust that the well-deserved compli- 
ment implied in this name may be confirmed by official authority, 
^leanwhile I remain, with great respect. 

Very truly yours, 

p:lliott coi'Ks. 

Cedar Falls, Iowa, Sept. 27. 1S!)4. 

Hon. J. V. Brower, Commissioner Itasca State Park, 

Dear Sir: ^ly recent trip with you to the Itasca State Park, and 
thence down the ]\lississipi)i to Aitkin, was altogether delightful. Hut 
one or two subjects, earnestly discussed by us, keep recurring to me and 
"will not down.'' One is the changing of the beautiful shores of AVinni- 
bigoshish, and J'okegema lakes, by the flooding of the government 
dams, into horrible, stinking swamps, haunted by the ghosts of nnirder- 




ITASCA LAKE, .lUNE 5th, 1SS4. 



cd trees. And there is before me always a sense of inpendin^r 
calamity, as of the threatened death of a friend, when I think of Sandy 
lake, the most beautiful in all ^Minnesota, with its important historical 
points, its emerald islands, its noble, bordei'infr forests, its lovely beach- 
es, so soon to be trauformed by the raising of the water into a like 
scene of death and ruin. 

But almost sadder than this is the ruthless and often wanton and 
senseless destruction of the noble pine forests of the upper river. We 
saw enough to convince us that there is much stealing of timber from 
government lands and a greedy and foolish cutting away of noble for- 
ests. We saw great tracts denuded of trees and converted into 
those "cutthigs'' that are only kindling heaps to start future great 
forest fires. This wasteful and often dishonest chopping of the trees is 
going on higher and higher up the river: and soon the timber wolves 
will be snarling at your own Itasca, and their green eyes will be mark- 
ing for destruction those fine belts of white and norway pine and fir 
and spruce that so delighted us. Guard them well! 

The idea of making a state park of Itasca basin was certainly an 
inspiration, and its originator deserves to be remembered gratefully by 
future generations. The tract is admirably suited to the purpose. Your 
map shows most clearly the outlines of this great natural bowl, and our 
rambles through it verified the map in every particular. Walking up 
the dry bed of Chambers' creek, and finding Nicollet's infant Missis- 
sippi large enough to go swimming in, disposed of Glazier's ridiculous 
claim, and showed him up as a fraud, after cheap glory, and his book a 
**fake." Itasca Park is worthy of any state, and should be sedulously 
guarded and defended. The multitude of clear little gems of lakes, 
embowered in picturesque hills. Lake Itasca itself a most lovely sheet 
of water, and especially the grand stretches of virgin forest, than which 
I never saw finer, mark the park as a chosen corner of Nature's great 
garden. To neglect this beautiful j^ossession would argue great stupid- 
ity on the part of ^Minnesota. The forest trees should be so protected 
by law that timber cruisers would give the park a wide berth. And 
such safeguards should be i)laced around it as to make the danger of 
destruction by foi'^est fires much h-ss than it is now. To j^reserve the 
game and the trees, it seems to me, the state could well alYord to sur- 
round the whole ])ark with a high wire fence, and to make a sufficient 
appropriation to enable the c(niniiissi()ner to patrol it. A tree is the 
most valuable thing to man on earth, next to man himself, and the most 
beautiful. 'J'hose great pim's ar«' triumphs of Nature's handiwork, 


iijiraclcs of design and boneficonce. Let tlieni be preserved to keep the 
lakes and s|)rings of the upper [Mississippi from drying up, and to 
afford the citizens of the United States a delightful resort. 

You see I share your enthusiasm on this subject, and here enthu- 
siasm and common-sense are at one. If the state is wise, she will speed- 
ily gather up all the land within the park and never allow one of those 
trees to be cut, or a single animal of the game there to be killed. .May 
the park ever continue the "thing of beauty" it is now, and so be a 
"joy forever." 

Yours, very faithfully, 


. Huron, S. D., Oct. 2, 1894. 

Hon. J. Y. Brower, St. Paul :\rinn. 

Dear Sir: Since my return from our vacation trip, I have thought, 
a good many times, of some of the topics we discussed during the week 
we spent together at Itasca lake, and on our journey of several hundred 
miles down the ^lississippi river. I have read, with more interest than 
ever before, statements and discussions in various newspapers relating 
to movements in progress, and contemplated, which will soon result in 
the total destruction of the magnificent forests in northern [Minnesota. 

I have noticed, with deep regret, the probability that all of the 
splendid bodies of pine and other timber surrounding many of your 
matchless lakes, and along the shores of the grandest of American riv- 
ers, must soon fall before the axe of the woodnum, leaving barrenness 
and desolation where now there is attractiveness and beauty. 

While it cannot be expected that in this present selfish age, which 
entirely ignores sentiment for the sake of financial gain, all of these 
forests can be preserved, it is certainly hoped that soinelliinLT may 
done to put a check upon the reckless destruction of all of Xature's 
attractive resorts. 

The reservoir system on the U})per Mississippi has already stM'iousiy 
injured, and in some places destroyed, the beauty of some of the finest 
combinations of lake and forest on this continent. It is to be fean^d 
that ere lonu the greed of the speculator and the avariee of the lumbei-- 
man will finish the work of deseci-ation and desolation. 

I congratulate you, and all who ap()reeiate beauty in tlie woi-ks oi' 
Nature, in the sueeess that atttMuled vigorous eft'orts to set apart for- 
ever, as a public park, a little space around the source of the Missis- 
sippi river. But Itasca Park, with all its i)resent attractions and his- 



torical associations, will lose its interest if that wonderful river, from 
its source, is destined to flow on luM-eafter throujirh a desert of stumps 
and decayino; tree-tops I hope that something can be done to secure 
state or national legislation that will put a stop to the indiscriminate 
destruction of the forests along the shores of that magnificent water- 
way of the nation, and at least preserve forevtn* some of its most at- 
tractive features. 

Very truly yours, 



^rilwauk(^e. Wis., Dec. 8. 1894. 

IMr. J. V. Brower. St. Paul. :\rinn. 

Dear Sir: AVe the undersigned have heard with the greatest re- 
gret that there is some talk of selling or cutting the line timber in 
the Itasca Statf Park. We can hai-ly believe that any legislature or 
governor would permit such a wanton outi'age as this certainly would 
be. Apart from the geographical interest of the park, one of its great- 



est attractions and its very irreatcst beauty lies in its siipci-l) tn/es 
and forest scenery; and anyone who has seen them onee can only ho]>e 
that they may be preserved forever. As we drove and walked thr(Mi«:h 
the park hist October, we felt tliat thi' only mistake made so I'ai- was in 
not ori,Lrinally extendin;:: the boundaries wider so as to take in nioi\' of 
the timber land. 

It seems to us that the State of Minnesota ouirht to take a very 
special care of the Itasca Park, for its peculiar situation <:ives it an 
almost national character. And it is because of the interest that we, 



though non-residents of the state, take in the nuitter, that we now 
write to urge you to do everything* in your power to prevent the 
threatened spoilation of the forest in Itasca State Pai'k. 

Very truly yours, 

H. V. 0(JI)EX, 
II. V. \VrK])EMA.\N. 

Dr. Elliott Coues was for several years one of the editoi's of the 
Century Dictionary. Kev. S. Hall Youn^ was for ten years a l*resby- 
terian missionary to Alaska. Rev. T. M. Shanafelt, D. I)., has char<:e of 
the Baptist churches of South Dakota. Di-. Ernest C'oi)eiand. Dr. 11. V. 



OgdoD, Dr. W. A. Batclielor and Dr. II. V. Wurdemanu are physicians, 
resident at ]\rihvaukee, Wis. 

Also, in 1894, ]Mr. John ^loak and i)arty of experienced deer hunt- 
ers camped three miles Northwest of the outlet of Itasca Lake for a 
season's hunt. 


1895. Archaeoloirie explorations at Itasca Lake and doAvn the 
^lissisippi to Cass Lake by Brower and Lewis. ^Many deer hunters 
in parties of three or more son<rht campinn: grounds each year through- 
out tlie Itasca Reaion. A. A. AVliitney, ])ark commissioner, assumed 
official chargi^ of the ])ark. ^Ir. John ^loak, deer hunter, returning 



with liis party in Xov<.Miiber, was drowned in one of the lakes near tlie 
bead of Division Creek. 

1898. J. V. Brow»M' and one tourist made a rowboat excursion 
from Itasca Lake to Deer Hiver. 

1899. lion. AV. P. C'lii-istensen. Park Commissioner, assumed direc- 
tion of park affairs. lion. P. C. Deming and party toured Itasca State 
Park in the interests of the state for observations concerning the pres- 
ervation of the park in a state of nature. Aliss Norma Deming accom- 
panied her father on this tour. Governor John Lind, Attorney General 
W. B. Douglas and Judge William Alitchell made an inspection of the 
park contemi)lating the expenditure of funds ai)propriated by the Dem- 
ing law for park purposes. Geo. II. French, J. A. Ockerson and J. V. 
Brower, for the ^lississippi River Commission, completed a preliminary 
exploration of the Itasca Basin and the' Mississippi River from Itasca 
Lake to Aitkin. The Brower-Finney timber inspection of the park 
was commenced. 

1900. The timber inspection was completed. ]\Iissisippi River 
Commission survey of Itasca Basin under direction of Mr. A. T. AFor- 
row, assisted by TV. G. Comber and others was proceeded with and 
completed. This survey was one of the most important ever under- 
taken along the upper branches of the Alississippi. A photographic 
reproduction of the chart made to represent the results of Air. Alor- 
row's survey follows after the title page and Itasca State Park Chart, 
in this volume. 

1901. Air. John P. Gibbs, park commissioner, assumed direction 
of the park. He entertained nuiny visitors during the season of that 
year, among whom were Air. Al. R. Conable and Air. J. B. Chaiu'y, 
members of the Alinnesota Historical Society. This was the disastrous 
year when lumbering operations were commenced within t]u> park 

1902. Bonness & Co., a lumbering firm, built a logging dam near 
the outlet of Itasca Lake and first flooded that body of water in viola- 
tion of the terms of the park law. Air. Edwin C. Crampton and Mr. 
Clarence L. Chest<M-, tourists, explored Itasca Basin, obtaining a lai-iic 
number of original ])hotographs, very nuiny of which are reproduc«Ml 
in this volume. They were experienced and careful photograplu'i-s 
who secured and contributed the largest number of perfect views ever 
made of the Itasca Region, beginning on the stage road leading from 
Park Rapids to Itasca Lake and ending near the outlet of Wiinie- 
bagoshish Lake aloni: their canoe route of i)assage down the Alissis- 


Clarence L. Chester. Edwin C. Cuamiton. 



sippi. ]\Ir. Craiupton is the owner of tlie ph<)toijfra[)lis which were 
obtained on that tour of observation, by whose permission they were 
engraved for the present work with cxeellent results. 

1903. Itasca l^ake was given over to biniberin<r operations with 
disastrous effects against the shore line of Itasca Lake and the public 
property of the state. A permanent loirging dam was constructed, 
tlooding both Elk and Itasca lakes, to facilitate the private enter- 
prises of lund)ernuMi, participated in by a nuMuber of the famil\' of 
Park Commissioner Ciibbs. After his death his daughter Mary II. 
Gibbs acted as connnissioner. She was enjoined from performing a 
portion of her official acts. ^lessrs. P. C. Deming and J. V. lii-ower 
made a tour of observation to examine the various localities occupied 
for lumbering facilities. ^Ir. J. B. Chaney nuide a tour of the state 
park soon after ^Ir. C. E. Bullard, the newly appointed park commis- 
sioner, assumed official direction of park atlairs. 

1904. Itasca State Park was given over to lumbering operations. 
The logging dam was increased in height. About 10.000,000 feet of 
l«)gs were landed in Itasca Lake. Attorney General Douglas visited 
the scenes of logging operations at the park in the month of ^larch, 
contracting also for the construction of the new state house. Thomas 
C. ]\Iyers & Son, contractors, commenced the construction of the new 
state house near the mouth of ^lary Creek with green, newly cut. and 
unseasoned timber. 

Practically all of the citizens of Park Rapids, Minnesota, the thi-iv- 
ing town which has been the nearest railroad depot to the state park, 
have on one or more occasions visited Itasca Lake. It is an impossibil- 
ity to here describe those numerous voyages by a people wlio have eviM* 
stood ready to encoui-age and advance the intert^sts of the state insti- 
tution which has by its attractiveness and historic interest, brouirht 
thousnnds of tourists and travellers to Park Rapids on their way to 
the Source of the ^lississippi. 

Like all towns in a new country. Park Rapids has been given over 
largely to business enterprises. It is time for the people of that town 
to protest against the destruction now threatening Itasca Lake. 


The origin of nanu^s foi- any locality has become much more attrac- 
tive to geographic students than occasion offered during medieval 
])eriod, in the world's history. 

For the Region much attention was bestowed upon propiu* 


names for the ^linnesota Historical Society, in its volume VII, pub- 
lished in 1803. 

From that record the following extracts are republished: 


The Lac La Biche was already known to exist, and ^Mr. School- 
craft was determined to reach it, carrying out his other objects of 



observation whiU^ en route by canoe voyage through Lake Superii^r. 
^lessrs. Schoolcraft and ])«)utwell werc^ personal associates, voyaginir 
in the same canoe throuuh Superior, and while conversing on their 
travels along the south shore of the great lake, the name "Itasca'' was 



selected in the followin«r manner, in advance of its discovei'v l)y School- 
craft's party. 

^Fr. Schoolci'aft. havinjz nppcrniost in liis mind tlie source of the 
river, expecting and determined to reach it, suddenly turned and ask-.'d 
^rr. Boutwell for the Greek and Latin definition of the lieadwaters i»r 
true source of a river. ^Ir. Boutwell, after much thouirht, could not 
rally his memory of Greek sufficiently to designate the phrase, but in 
Latin selected the strongest and most pointed expressions, "Veritas,"' 
and "Caput," — Truth, Head. This was wi-itten on a sWp of paper, au'i 
Mr. Schoolcraft struck out the first and last three letters, and an- 
nounced to :\Ir. Boutwell that "Itasca shall be the name." 

As the information was secured direct from ^Mr. Boutwell in ])er- 
son, at his home near Stillwater, ]\Iinn., all questions concerning this 
unique name are forever settled. 


The ^lississippi river has been known by numerous desiuiiations. 
Prior to Soto's expedition, the savage tribes applied names to their re- 
spective ])Ossessions along its banks. From the Cortes ma]) we have 
Espiritu Sa7icto — a name now found to be not applicable to the ^lissis- 
sippi, for Cortes never saw or named the river, and in nomenclatur:il 
construction, this name is, improperly applied to the ^lississippi. 

Of the numerous names of record, which have been applied to th«' 
river, the following are noted. The list, however, is by no means ex- 

]\Ieche Sebe— The original Algonquin designation. 

Chucagua— An Indian name, noted by Soto's expedition. 

Tamaliseu— An Indian name, noted by Soto's expedition. 

Tapatu— An Indian name, noted by Soto's exi)edition. 

Mico — An Indian name, noted by Soto's expedition. 

Rio Grande — A Spanish designation, noted by Soto's expedition. 

"The River" — A Spanish designation, noted by Soto's expedition. 

Palisado — A Spanish designation, from floating trees seen near its 
mouth, giving the appearance of a palisade. 

Escondido — A Spanish designation: hidden from sight by the in- 
numerable passes, cut otfs, bayous, etc.. at and above its mouth. makiuLT 
it dit^cult to discover the main channel. 

St. Louis — A French designation. 

Conception — A French designation, by Mar([uette. 


Buade— So called by Joliet after the family name of Gov. Fron- 

Colbert— After Jean Baptist Colbert, an eminent French states- 

Mischipi— Nicolas Freytas' visit to the Quivira tribes, 16G1. 
Messipi— Father Allouez, in delation of 16(37. 
Meschasipi— Hennepin map of 1697. 
Michi Sepe— LabaTs version. 



]\risisipi— Labatt *s version. 

Missisipi — ^rarf[iiette's version. 

Mississipi — A later French version. 

Mississip])i— American version of IDth century. 

SchoolcrMl't and l^outwell in the manner heretofore mentioned 
coined the final name for Itasca. However, an interestinir incid'^it 
might well be related: The first words i^iven by 'Mr. Boutwell. it will 
be remembei'cd, were Verum (true"). Caput (^h^''^^^)- ^^^it substituted tlu 



stronger word, Veritas, (truth). Ilnd the first sugfrestion bct'ii fol 
lowed, that of Vernniu-capiit — "Kuiuca" would to-day bo the name, 
and the word Itasca" unknown. 


The names at the Itasca Basin after whom, and by wh«>m sug- 
gested, are as follows : 

Omoskos Sogiagon — The Ojibway name. By aboriginal tribes. 

Lac La Biche — The French translation, by the French traders. 

Elk Lake— The English translation, after Morrison's time. 

Itasca Lake— Schoolcraft and Boutwell, from Veritas Caput, in 

The Infant ^Mississippi — Named by J. X. Nicollet, in 1S3G. 
Nicollet's Lower Lake — The Conunissioner 's Report, after J. N. 

Nicollet's ]\Iiddle Lake— The Commissioner's Report, after J. N. 

Nicollet's Upper Lake— The Commissioner's Report, after J. N. 

North, East and West arm of Itasca Lake— The Commissioner's 

Bear Point— Named by Peter Turnbull, first resident. 
Turnbull Point — The Commissioner's Report, after Peter Turnbull. 
Floating Bog Bay-J. V. Brower's party of 1SS8. 
Ozawindib Point — The Commissioner's Report. After Sclu^olcraft's 

Garrison's Point— The Commissioner's Report. After 0. E. Gar- 

Rhodes Hill— The Commissioner's Report. After Prof. Rhodes, 
photograi)her of the expedition. 

Island Creek— The Connnissioner 's Report. Opposite Schoolcraft 

^lary Creek— Named by Peter Turnbull. After Mrs. ]Mary Turn- 

Chambers Creek— The Commissioner's Report. After Julius Cham- 

Boutwell Creek- The Commissioner's Report. After Rev. AV. T. 

]\fary Valley— The Commissioner's Report. After Mrs. ^lary 



Nicollet Valley — Tiie Coininissiorier 's Report. After J. X. Nicol- 

The Greater Dtimate Reservoir Bowl — The Coinniissioiier's Re- 
port. The most remote and elevated water-shed in the Mississippi Riv- 
er Basin, where the river takes its rise, at the Greater Ultimate Reser- 

The Lesser T'ltimate Reservoir Bowl — The Commissioner's Report. 
At ]\Iary Valley, where exists the Lesser Ultimate Reservoir of the 
Mississippi River Basin. 

The ^lidway Reservoir— The Commissioner's Report. At Clarke; 
Lake and its neighboring waters. 

Crescent Springs — The Commissioner's Report. Crescent shaped 
at the summit of a hill, gradually formed by artesian pressure. 

Elk Springs— The Commissioner's Report. At the east shore of 
Elk Lake. 

Elk Creek— The Commissioner's Report. At S. W. angle of Elk 

Elk Pool— The Commissioner's Report. In the dense forest. 
Elk Lake— Named by Gen. James H. Baker, in 1876. 
Clarke Creek— The Commissioner's Report. After Hopewell 

Clarke Pool-At Clarke Creek. 

Chambers Bay— Commissioner's Report. After Julius Chambers. 
Siegfried Crt-ek — Tlie Commissioner's Report. After A. IL Sieg- 

Demaray Creek— The Commissioner's Report. After ^Irs. Georgi- 
ana Demaray, surviving daughter of AVilliam Morrison. 

Howard Creek— The Commissioner's Report. After Mrs. Jane S. 
Howard, survivinir daughter of H. R. Schoolcraft. 

The ^Mississippi Springs — The Commissioner's Report. At the 
geographical center of the Greater Ultimate Reservoir. 

]\rary Lake — Named by Peter Turnbull. After Mrs. Mary Turn 


The Twin Lakes — The Commissioner's Report. Suggested by the 
appearance of united waters. 

Danger Lake — Named by Peter Turnbull. from intiltration and 
percolation of waters from above, flooding the ice surface in winter at 
its south shore. Recently changed to Dcming Lake, in Inuior of Portius 
C. Deming, author of the Demino: law. 

Ako Lake— Named b^' Hon. L V. D. Heard. After Ilonnepin's 
companion Accault. 



Josepliine Lake— J. V. Bi-ower's 1888 P^xamination. After 
Josephine V. l^rower. 

Sibilant Lake — The Coninii.ssioner's Report. The lake is the form 
of the letter S. 

Clarke Lake-Xamed by Mr. A. J. Hill. After Hopewell Clarke. 

Little Elk Lake— The Commissioner's Report. 

Hall Lake— The Commissioner's Re])ort. After Edwin S. Hall. 

Groseilliers Lake and Radisson Lake — The Commissioner's Report. 
After Des Groseillier and Radisson, discoverers of the Upper Missis- 
sippi River, — 1660. 

Floating: ^loss Lake — The Commissioner's Report. From its float- 
ing moss bed on the surface of the water. 

Whipple Lake — Named by Rev. J. A. Gilfillan. After Bishop H. 
B. Whipple, of the Episcopal Diocese of ^linnesota. 

The Triplet Lakes — The Commissioner's Report. Three small lake- 
lets closely identified with Morrison and Whipple lakes. 

Morrison Lake — The Commissioner's Report. After William ^Mor- 

iMorrison Hill— The Commissioner's Report. After William Mor- 

Lake Hernando de Soto — The Commissioner's Report. In honor of 
the discoverer of the ^fississippi River, 15-11. 

Brower Island— Named by Capt. R. Blakely, :\rr. Charles D. Elfell 
and Hon. I. V. D. Heard, acting; as a committee. After J. V. Brower. 
author of the Commissioner's Report. 

Lyendecker Lake — The Commissioner's Report. After John Ly- 

Mikenna Lake— Named by Mr. A, J. Hill. After the road along 
its shore. , . 

Allen Lake— The Commissioner's Report. After Lieut. James 

The Pickard du Gay Lakes-Named by Hon. I. V. D. Heard. After 
one of Hennepin's companions. 

The Itasca Basin — So called by conunon acceptation, as applied to 
the territory constituting the utmost limit of the main basin. 

Gay-gwed-osay Creek — The Commissioner's Report. After Nicol- 
let's Ojil)way guide. " Trying-to-walk. " 

Ocano Springs — The Commissioner's Report. The head sprinirs 
of Ocano creek. The word is found in Schoolcraft's Narrative. 

Spring Ridge — The Commissioner's Report. A ridge thrown up 
by water pressure, with luimerous springs at the sunnuit. 



Spring Kidgc Creek— The Commissioner's Report. A small creek 
flowing into Nicollet's Lower Lnke from 8prin«r Ridg(\ 

Gilfillan Lake — The Connnissioner's Report. After Rev. J. A. Gil- 
fillan, who celebrated the first known religious service at Itasca Lake 
in 18S1, from "Then had thy peace been as a i-iver. " 

McKay Lake— The Commissioner's Report. After Rev. Stanley A. 
McKay, who celebrated the first known baptismal rites in the watoi's at 
the north end of Itasca Lake, 1891. 

Division Creek — The Creek coming into the ]\Iississipi)i, north of 
Itasca lake, from the heights, which divide the waters flowing to Hud- 
son's Bay and the Gulf of ^Mexico. 

Frazier Lake— At Frazier's claim cabin. The waters of this lake 
flow to The Little ^lantrap Lake. 

Niemada Lake— Formerly a northern limit of The Little ]\Iantrap 
liake. The name is composite in form, not of Indian origin. 

The Hall Road— First opened for the Government survey, by Ed- 
win S. Hall, 1S75. 

The Turnbull Road— Opened by the first resident, 1882. 

The Itasca State Park— Name established by law. 

The foregoing list, taken from Volume YII of the Historical Col- 
lections, is somewhat modified in form. 


Some of the most important additions to the list of names at the 
park are as follows : 

Deming Lake, after Fortius C. Deming. 
Lind Saddle Trail, after Gov. John Lind. 
Chancy Point and }3ay, after Josiah B. Chancy. 
O'Neil Point, after Hon. John IT. O'Neil. 
Comber Point and Bay, after ^Fr. W. G. Comber. 
Ray's Point and I^ay, after :\rr. F. G. Ray. 
French Creek, after ]Mr. George II. French. 
]\Iorrow Heights, after Mr. A. T. Morrow. 
First Base Point, after first base, U. S. survey, 1900. 
Bohall Lake, after Henry l^ohall, an assistant on the Brower sur- 
vey of 1889. 

Hubbard Ravine, after Hubbard county, by the Mississippi River 
Commission Survey, 1900. 

Lashbrook Lake, after ^Tr. J. J. Lashbrook. 

Hays Lake, after Mr. E. Hays, assistant surveyor, 1891. 



Iron Corner Lake, after iron corner iiionuiiient placed at X. K. 
corner of Becker county. 

Budcl Lake, after an Ohio family name. 

Aiton lleiLrlits, after Prof. Geo. B. Aiton, 1891. 

Ockerson llei'rhts, after ]\Ir. J. A. Ockerson. 

Comber Island, after Mr. W. (}. Comber. 

Hill Point, after .Air. Alfred J. Hill. 

State Park House— First state building erected, 1895. 

Itasca Park Lodge — Second state building erected, 19()4. 

Brower Ridge — Named by Dr. Elliott Coues. 

Powder Horn Lake. Augusta Lake, Green Lake, and various base 
platforms erected by the Mississippi River Commission, each extended 
on the government chart of 1900, were names applied by the authori- 
ties of that commission. 

Camp Brower is a name applied to a beautiful camping ground 
by :\rr. Edwin C. Crampton in 1902, at ^^lary Creek. 

There are several obsolete designations which have not survived, 
some of Avhich were scientifically applied by Dr. Coues in 1894. 

The name McMullen Lake, in honor of William ^IcAIullen has been 
supplanted on the government chart of 1900 by "Squaw Lake," more 
than a tenth time for that name on various lakes in the Northwest. 

TN C ON riM'ors rsK on the uitei: Missis.<iri'i. 







Passim in this voliiiiie are practically all the names at Itasca State 
Park -which are conveniently sununarized from pages 271 to 27!J, like- 
wise United States, ^Minnesota, ^lississippi River. ^linnesota Historical 
Society, Saint Paul and many lakes, makinsr it advisable to omit the 
same from this index to prevent an unnecessary burden to the record 
by repeating voluminous page numbers. 

Park Commissioner's Reports. 
Brower, J. Y.. 1st, 1892, pp. 92 to 103; 2nd, 108 to 119; 3rd, 129 to 


Whitney, A. A., pp. 147 to 149. 
Christensen, AV. P., pp. 162 to 173. 
Gibbs, John P., 1st, pp. 192 to 195, 2nd, 198 to 200. 
Rei)rinted laws, pp. 58 to 71, both inclusive, maintaining chrono- 
logic presentation from 1891 to 1903, in their order of passage. 

Abbott. S. J 1-25 

Accault. Michael 44, 2G1. 276 

Adirondack 77 

Alton, Prof. G. V, 256,279 

Allen, Lieut. James 48,82,246,203 

Amichel 35, 36 

Ainilcou, Amicliel 36 

Anoka 44 

Art Engraving Co XII., XXXI. 

Assiniboine River 45 

Astor, J. J 47 

Auguelle, Anthony 44 

Avery, W. A 74, 256 

Babcock. Dr. L. \V 157, 1S2 

Baker, (..en. J. II 72,82. 276 

Batchclor. Dr. \V. A 257, 267, 2ta 

Baton Rouge 35, 3<5 

Beltrami 174, 195, 2»iO. 2'.<' 

Bemidji. 72, 132. 141. 1S3 

Bennett. I'.. S 202 

Berkey, Capt. Beter 115 

Bixby, Tarns SO 

Blakcley, Capt. R 277 

Booms 222 

Board of Game and Fish Commissioners,. 147 
Bohall, Hcnrv 278 



Bonness & Co., 19<), 195, 190, 107. lOS, IW, OOO 
201, 20S, 2«)9, 209 

Bonness, F. \V 105 

Boutwell, Rev. W. T.XVI., 4S, 253. 272. 11:1, 275 

Bradford Club XXX 11. 

Brainerd 5.}, 105 

Brainerd Lumber Co...].'>5, i:>9, ls7, 221, 241. 247 

Brazil 33 

Breck, Bishop J. L 272 

Brower, Ripley B XX\ I.. 151 

Brower, Josephine V 277 

Brown, F. P 00 

Bullard, C. E XXL. ISS, 219. 271 

Burlington 44 

Cambridge ; 34 

Campbell, Henry Colon 38 

Cass Lake 45, 72, 146, 235, 253 

Castle, J. N 91. Ill 

Chambers, Julius, 

48, 72. 73, 101, 25:3. 2.59. 275, 276 
Chaney, J. B.XIX. 194, 225, 226, 2-32. 269, -271, 278 

Chester, Clarence L 165. 209, 27() 

Childs, H. \V 226 

Chouart, Medard 3S, 4.3. 44, 277 

Christensen, \V. P 153, 161. 173. ISS. 269 

Clarke, Hopewell 74. 101, 250, 277 

Clearwater Co XXXI., 210, 245 

Cleveland, Pres. G 122 

Clough, Gov. D. M 145, 147, 149 

Comber, W. G 162. 269, 278, 279 

Conable, M. R 269 

Contract for building 243 

Cooper, John 145 

Copeland, Dr. E 257, 267 

Coues, Dr. Elliott 2.57,261,267,279 

Crampton, Edwin C, XIX., 34, 165, 252, 

253, 260. 270. 271. 279 

Crandall, C. S S7. 125, 126,' 127' 

Crevecouer Fort 44 

Critical period XVIII, 185 

Crookston Lumber Co 227 

Crow Wing 46, 47 

Dakotas 38 

Dam, a logging chute 223 

Dayton's Bluff 44 

Deer River •!(?.) 

Dcmaray, Gcorgiana 270 

Deming, Miss Norma 209 

Deming. Portius C, a legislator, XX\'II. 
134, 151. l.V_', 153, 155, 1S2, 1n5, l57, l»ii2, 203, 

2iRi, 2<»y, 260. 271. .'76. 278 

Division Cr 52. 53. 2iiO 

Doe Lake 2t>0 

Donnelly, Ignatius 125 

Douglas, Attorney Gen., \V. B.. XXI. 
XX in, XXX, 159, 176. 177, 178. 185. lS»i. 
187, 18S, 189. 191, 192. 195, 190, 202, ^'i, 
205, 210. 220. 221. 2>S. 231, 245. 247, 250. 

209. 271 

Dunn. R. C 195, if),j 

Elfelt, Charles I) S3. S5, 86, 115. 277 

En-me-gow-bow 272 

Elvas, gentleman of 

Fairchild, H. S 225 

Finney, T. S 150. 176. 177, 178, 186, 209 

Fiske, Mr. John 33, 34 

Flandreau, C. E S5 

Flatmouth 274 

Fleming, W. A 125 

Florida 35 

Foley, T. R 83,89 

Forked River -^,5 

Formative Period XN'lIl. 121 

Fort Pillager 57 

Fort Snelling 77 

Fort William 4*3 

French, Geo. H 162.209. 278 

Freytas, Father X 43, 44 

Fuller, W. M 145 

Furlong, J. J ] >.-, 

^•aray 35 

(iarrison, O. E 72. 101. 250, 275 

Geist, Emil 80,81,83 

(libbs, David 2<''S 

Gibbs, John P., 187, ISS, 105, 2»i«t, 2<)1, -2^7, 

206, 209, 271 

(iibbs log landing 200 

Gibbs lumber camp ^JS 

Gibbs, Mary IL, 184. 1^8. 207, 210, 211, 212, 

216. 217. 218, 210. 271 

Gilfillan, Rev. J. A 101, 25<3, 262, 277, 278 

(iorman, P. B 125 

CJrand Portage 40 

Grand Rapids 257 

Greater Xew Vork 127 

(ireat Northern Hotel XXIa 

Cireer, .\. J 125 

Hall, Edwin S 4S. 72, 101, 253. 277. 27> 

Hanson, Peter E 226 

Hayes. E 278 

Heard. 1. \*. D 85, 276 

Hennepin. Louis 44, 276 

Hill. Alfred J 76. 77. 277. 279 

llohe war 57 



Hompe. Toliii R 125 

Howard. Jane S 276 

Howe. T. T 195 

Hubbard county, XXIX, y.VI, 141, 147, Kil. 

172, 192. 27S 

Hudson I'.ay 51. 52 

Iberville 30 

Hlinois River 44 

Indian names 130 

Iowa 44 

Itasca Park Lodfie XXIX, XXXI 

Iverson, S. G 225, 227, 22S, 231 

Jacobson. J. V 144, 145,151,182 

Jay. \V. M 2<n 

Johnson, Clarence H 245 

Jones, John D 151, 155 

Joliet, I-ouis 14 

Kakabikans Rapids, X!X, 52, 77, S3, 234, 

243, 252 

Kakabikansing 57 

Kansa 34 

Kathio 57 

Kingsbury, David 1 225, 22t» 

Kirk, T. H 256 

Knife Sioux Trail 33 

Lake City 19<) 

Lamborn, Cliarles B Ill 

Langford, N. P 225, 2-;G 

La Salle. Sieur de 44 

Laws 58 to n 

Lashbrook. J. T 27S 

Lee, W illiam K 39, 41, 42, 145 

Leech Lake 46, 72 

Le Sueur. Pierre 44, 45 

Levassuer. Prof E 76 

Leycr.dcckcr. John 74, 25»;, 277 

Licenses to boom logs 221, 227, 22S 

Lind, (lov. John. 151. I.j3. 155. l.V;. 150. IGl, 

162. V'c], 171, 1>5. 1S7, ISS, 260. 27S 
Lind Sadille Trail, 154. 157. l.\S, 150, KK). 

161. 163 

List of names 273-279 

Little Mantrap, Greater and F.esser. two 
lakes, one X. E. from Park Rai>ids and 
one Northwesterly. Lesser Mantrap Lake 
is partly in the S E corner of the park. 
They were named after local i>eculiari- 

t'^'^ 1_>0 

I-ittlc Falls 53 


Manchester (leoprai)hical Society 76. 240 

Mandan 45 

Mantrap, two lakes, one at park 53. S3, 120 

Maps. Itasca Mounds X 

Itasca State Park XII 1 

Miss. Riv. Com. Cliart XV 

Section of Miss. Riv .37 

First chart of park S4 

Chart of source OS 

State park diagram 120 

Lieut. Allen's chart 246 

Beltrami's map.... 2«v; 

Schoolcraft's map 2G7 

Ojibway Indian map 2<^ 

Markham, J. M V25 

Martin, James 219 

Marquette, Father J 41 

McGill-Warner Co XII 

McIIaltf. James 125 

McKay, Rev S. A 2.Vi. 27<^ 

McMullen. P)enj 22n 

McMuUen, W illiam, .>!. 77, 7S, 117. 120. l;Ki. 

25»;. 270 

McMullen Lake 52 

Medieval Period 271 

Merriam, Gov. W. R., 87, S9, 06, 91, 92, 

103, 121, 141 

Metcalf, Dr. Geo. R 226. •:.-)7 

Metcalf, George 257 

Michilimackinac 46 

Mille Lac 44. 51. 57, 72 

Milwaukee '-57 

Minneapolis 70 

Minnesota River 44 

Mischipi 44 

Mississippi River Commission X\'1II 

Mississippi — Schoolcraft Boom Co, 210. ■2\<\ 


Missouri River 45 

Mitchell, W illiam 1S5, ISS, 2«-.0 

Moak. John 2(i3 

Mobile Bay .36, 40 

Moore, Clarence B 35 

Moore, E. J 125 

Moran, a slienrF 132 

Morris, (louverneur 34 

Morrison. Allan 45. 40 

Morrison. W illiam, 45. 4(i, 4>, lUl, 252, 25S, 

27»i, 277 

Morrow. A. T 161, 162, 2(;!», 27S 

.Moscoso, Luys 3<', 43 

.Mi)unds. chart of X 

Myers, S. S 243, 247 

Myers. T. C 243. 247. 271 



Naiwa Lake 72, 132 

Names, Many, list of, 271, 275, 270, 277, 

278. 279 

Narvaez, Panfilo de 34, 40 

Na-sho-tah 248 

Ne-gon-e-be-ness 2jO 

Nelson. Ciovernor Knute, XIV. XXI. l-'O. 

141, 143. 147 

Ne-saun dah-wance 251 

New Amsterdam 127 

New names at Itasca State Park, list of... 278 

Niagara Falls 79 

Nicollet, J. N., 4S, 82, 97, 101, 25.3. 275, 

276, 277 

Nomenclature 271, 273. 27.5, 279 

Northwest Co 45 

Oakes, Thos. F 105, 111 

Ockerson, J. A 269, 279 

Ogden, Dr. H. V 257, 267, 268 

OLeary, Timothy 193 

O'Neil, J. H., XXVIII, XXIX, 155, 1S2, 278 

Ottawa 45 

Oxford 43 

O-za-win-dib 43 

Pacaha 36 

Paris 44 

Park Rapids, XXIX, 73, 141, 150, 172, 132, 

192, 245, 271 

Patrick, Capt. Mason M 162 

Pembina River 45 

Penalosa, Governor i3, 44 

Pepin 38, 43, 103 

Perfective Period XVIII. 125 

Pike, Gen. Z. M 46. 260 

Pillagers 46 

Pillsbury. Charles A 105 

Pillsbur>-, John S 105, 115. 131, 1>S. 189 

Pine county 38 

Pine River 57 

Pineda, de Alonzo Alvarez .35, 36. 33, 40 

Polk, Du Val F 256 

Pokegama Lake 261 

Ponchartrain Lake 36 

Portugal 33 

Prairie du Chien 47 

Prairie Island 38, 43 

Quizquiz 36, 43 

kainy Lake River 

Ramsey. Alexander 91, 113, 15*), 

Kamsey pine l.V;, 


Rhodes. .... 
Rum River 


F. G. 


Lake River. 


D. C... 


Saganaga Lake 

Saint Anthony Falls 44, 

Sanborn, John B., 86, 87 , 88, 115, 120, 221, 
225, 226, 227, 228, 

Sand Lake River 

Sandy Lake 

Sauntr>'. William 

Schoolcraft, H. R., XVI, 46, 4S, 75, 82, 
101, 253, 267, 272, 273, 

Scofield, J. L 

Sibley, H. H 

Siegfried, A. H 72,256, 

Shanafelt, Rev. T. M 257,206, 

Shevlin, T. H 

Shol and Morrissey 

Smith, John Day 125, 

Somerby, C. \V 

Soto. Hernando de. XXXII, 33, 35, 36, 43 



Spirit Lake , 

Spooner, M A 188, 307, 210. 212 

Staples, C. F 144, 145 

Stevens. H. F 

Stony Ridge , 

Suite. Benjamin 

Superior 38 







, 270 
, 207 
, 126 
. 219 

, 277 

Tascodiac Lake 72 

Thompson. David 45, 253 

Traditionary and geographic names 273 

Transvaal 127 

TurnbuU, Charley F 250, 263 

Turnbull. Mary 263,275, 276 

Turnbull. Peter 73, 263, 275, 276 

Turrell O. B 125 

Turtle Lake 45 

Turtle River 45 

Radisson. Pierre Esprit, discoverer of the 
area of Minnesota at headwaters of St. 
Croix River and at Mille Lac, A. D. 
1660 38, 43, 44, 257 , 277 

Underwood. J. M 190 

I'pham Lake 52 

L pham. Warren t-3. '^6, 256 



Vaca, Nunez C. de 40 

Varnhngcn, Count F. A. de 33 

Van Sant. Governor S. R.. XIX. XXI. 
XXIII, 1S7, 10-2, 105. I'.H), lOS. 207, 225, 

226. 227, 223, 231, 247 
Vespucius, Amcricus 33, 34, 38, 40 

Walker, Thomas B., 105, 115, 131. 203, 220, 

225, 226. 227 . 229, 239. 241 

Walker. W. J 226 

Washington. George 34 

Waub-o-jeeg 248 

Wegmann. Theodore 54. 13S, 139, 21G. 247 

Weyerhauser. F 105. 113. 115, 131, 203 

Weyl, C. G 55 

Wheelock. Joseph A 80 

Whipple, Bishop H. B 277 

White Cloud 248 

Whitney. A. A 145. 147, 149, 155, IH, 2C8 

Wild Rice River 51 

Williams. J. Fletcher 75, 7C 

Winchell Lake 62 

Winchell. Xewton H 52,80, 81 

Winnebagoshish Dam 71 

Winnebagoshish Lake XIX. 2«1 

W isconsin River 44 

Wood. E. B 201, 202 

W right. Rev. C. T 248 

Wurdeman. Dr. II. V 257, 207, 268 

Wyman, J. T 127 

Yellowstone 77 

Young, Rev. S. Hall 257, 265, 267